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In Italian, “pane” means bread, and “zanella” means deep plate or bowl. That’s right, this is a bread salad. Need I say more? Bread in and of itself is amazing, but how about chunks of crusty bread, soaked with the juices of red tomatoes and a tasty vinaigrette, with lots of green basil and red onion? Yes, please!

This recipe is fine on its own, but if you’re looking for something a little more substantial, just add your favorite protein! Chicken, shrimp, chickpeas, tofu, whatever floats your boat. I love versatile recipes like this one! Let’s see how to throw it all together below.

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To get started, heat the oven to 375ºF. Combine bread cubes with 2 tablespoons olive oil on a baking sheet. Now, let’s talk bread. This is no time to get cheap sandwich bread. Grab a French baguette or a loaf of sourdough for these croutons! Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 20 minutes.

Next, let’s get to the dressing! In a small bowl, whisk vinaigrette ingredients together: olive oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper. Set aside while assembling the salad.

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, cucumber, radishes, basil, parsley, and capers, stirring to mix. Add bread cubes and toss with vinaigrette. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately or let the salad sit for 30 minutes to an hour to let the flavors develop.

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Makes 6 servings

20m prep time

20m cook time

4.7
Rated 4.7 out of 5
Rated by 6 reviewers
Ingredients
  • 6 cups of cubed bread (sourdough or French)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups cubed watermelon
  • 1/2 large red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 cucumber, quartered and sliced into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 radishes, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup torn basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
For the vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
Preparation
  1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Combine bread cubes with 2 tablespoons olive oil on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 20 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk vinaigrette ingredients together: olive oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper.
  3. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, watermelon, onion, cucumber, radishes, basil, parsley, and capers, stirring to mix. Add bread cubes and toss with vinaigrette. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Serve immediately or let the salad sit for 30 minutes to an hour to let the flavors develop.

Recipe adapted from Rachel Cooks