Only 30 minutes from fridge to table makes this Mediterranean Grilled Vegetable Panzanella a light, flavorful summer weeknight meal.
Until recently, I had never even heard of a panzanella, but then an article in the current issue of Vegetarian Times caught my eye and I knew I had to take the idea out for a spin. I mean, what could be better? Two of my favorite things – Bread and Salad – right there in one fast, easy to fix meal. (In case you too are among the uninitiated, a panzanella is basically a bread salad dressed in a vinaigrette.) For this grilled vegetable panzanella, I went with a Mediterranean theme, but the possibilities are virtually endless.
Mediterranean Grilled Veggie Panzanella
- 4 or 5 slices of rustic French bread
- 3 medium tomatoes cut in half horizontally
- 1 medium zucchini sliced once end-to-end
- 1 medium sweet onion sliced (1/2" slices)
- 1 medium eggplant sliced (1/2" slices)
- 1/4 cup olive oil divided
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 large clove garlic minced
- 4-6 cups coarsely chopped Romaine lettuce
- 1/4 cup sliced olives
- 2 ounces feta cheese crumbled
- 4 hard-boiled eggs chopped
Brush French bread slices very lightly with olive oil and grill them over medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side. Cut grilled bread into cubes and put them into a large bowl.
Lightly brush tomato halves, zucchini halves, onion and eggplant slices with olive oil and place on grill. Season with salt and pepper. Grill about 4-5 minutes on each side, until they are slightly charred and barely tender. (Start the tomato halves with their cut sides down - they will retain their juices better that way.) Remove from grill when done and allow to cool slightly.
Reserve two tomato halves. Cut the rest of the grilled veggies into chunks and put them into the bowl with the bread. Add chopped romaine and toss everything to combine.
In a small bowl, coarsely chop the reserved tomato and smash the pieces with a fork. Add minced garlic, and whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle vinaigrette over bread mixture. Toss in sliced olives, feta and chopped hard boiled eggs and toss everything thoroughly to combine.