Panzanella (Bread and Tomato Salad) √

Serves 8.

For a Middle Eastern twist on this Italian classic, try using whole-grain pita bread instead of the rustic bread. Because the bread will continue to soak up the liquid the longer it sits, I try to make only as much of this salad as I need for one meal. If you don’t have a crowd for dinner, feel free to cut the recipe in half. From Meredith Deeds.

For the salad:

• 4 c. (1-in.) cubes day-old whole-grain rustic bread

• 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

• 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

• 3 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-in. cubes

• 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and sliced 1/2 -in. thick

• 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

• 3 c. arugula

• 20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped


For the vinaigrette:

• 1 tsp. finely minced garlic

• 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

• 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar

• 1 tbsp. water

• 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

• 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

On a large baking sheet, toss the bread with the oil to coat. Season with the salt and pepper. Bake, stirring once or twice, until the croutons are crisp and lightly colored on the outside but still soft inside, about 8 or 9 minutes. Let cool.

For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber and red onion. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Let sit for 15 minutes. Add the arugula and basil and serve.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 136 Fat 8 g Sodium 274 mg Saturated fat 1 g

Carbohydrates 14 g Calcium 53 mg

Protein 4 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 1½ fat.