Panzanella (Tuscan Bread Salad)
with grilled rosemary-balsamic chicken
For this twist on panzanella (Tuscan bread salad) we grill thick slices of bread alongside rosemary-balsamic chicken. Grilling gives the salad's main elements tons of toasty flavor and color. (Not up for using the grill? We've included instructions for cooking on the stovetop as well.)
Panzanella (Tuscan Bread Salad):
- Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 1 lb
- Olives, kalamata, pitted - 1/3 cup , sliced
- Green beans - 1/2 lb , trimmed and chopped
- Lettuce, any crisp variety like Romaine or Boston leaf - 1 head , chopped
- Tomatoes, large - 2 , chopped
- Bread, thick-cut / Italian-style, gluten-free - 4 slices
- Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
- Rosemary-balsamic dressing (ingredients listed separately) - ~1/4 cup
Rosemary-Balsamic Dressing (enough for marinade and salad dressing):
- Garlic - 4 cloves , minced
- Vinegar, balsamic - 3 Tbsp
- Mustard, dijon - 1 Tbsp
- Honey - 2 Tbsp
- Lemons - 1 , juice of
- Oil, cooking - 1/2 cup
- Rosemary - 2 sprigs
- Make dressing - Mince garlic. Combine with vinegar, mustard, honey and lemon juice. Add oil while whisking. Season with some salt and pepper. Divide dressing in half and add a sprig of rosemary to each. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Chicken - Halve and then season and tenderize. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
- Marinate chicken - Toss chicken in half the prepared dressing (reserve the other half to dress the salad). Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to a day. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Olives - prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Green beans - Trim and cut into 1/2” (1.25 cm) pieces. Place in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with a wet paper towel and microwave until tender (1 1/2 minutes for thinner beans and closer to 2 1/2 minutes for thicker beans). (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Lettuce / Tomatoes - Prep as directed.
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- If using a grill: Preheat grill to 400F (163C) degrees, keeping one section on higher heat and another section on lower heat. Clean and oil grates. Remove chicken from marinade and place over high heat. Sear chicken for 2 to 3 minutes on each side and transfer to lower heat. Cook until internal temperature reaches 165F (74C) degrees, an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
- If using a grill: While chicken is cooking, brush bread with oil and grill over indirect heat until deep brown and crisp, ~4 minutes each side. When cool enough to handle, cut bread into 1” (2.5 cm) cubes.
- If using the stovetop: Place a grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush pan with oil and sear chicken on both sides for 2 to 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium, cover with foil, and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 165F (74C) degrees.
- If using the stovetop: While chicken is cooking, cut bread into 1” (2.5 cm) cubes. Heat a skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and bread cubes and toast until golden brown and crisp on all sides, ~5 minutes.
- Slice chicken.
- To assemble salads, discard rosemary sprig from dressing. Toss lettuce, tomatoes, green beans, olives and chicken in dressing. Just before serving, add bread cubes and toss to combine. (Do this last at the last minute so the bread stays nice and crunchy.) Enjoy!