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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Fresh Face for a Traditional Summer Favorite

Chickpea Panzanella Salad

It has reached 100 degrees today in Greensboro, Alabama, which means that I am no longer using my stove. In this retched heat there are only two things I rely on: my grill and recipes that require no cooking at all. To celebrate my freedom from the stove, I deliver to you PANZANELLA! A central Italian salad traditionally consisting of bread and tomatoes, panzanella is extremely popular in the hot summer months. To put a modern twist on this old favorite I have chosen to incorporate chickpeas and fresh basil into the mix. Most Florentine traditionalists will curse me for this post, but for me the chickpeas and basil just bring the dish to life through their warm texture and flavor. Just step away from the oven, and enjoy this simple and delicious chickpea panzanella salad.

Chickpea Panzanella Salad Recipe

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: None

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove, pressed
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper

2 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1" chunks
3/4 baguette, cut into 1/2" cubes (works best when the bread is a day old)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely shopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 can of chickpeas, drained and dried
Fresh shaved Parmesan (garnish)

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, garlic clove, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large bowl or serving dish, combine tomatoes, bread, basil, parsley, red onion and chickpeas. Toss to combine. Pour desired vinaigrette amount over salad, coat all ingredients well. Let sit for one hour for flavors to marry.

Serve salad with fresh shaved Parmesan. 

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