Orange and Basil Panzanella

IMG_3007Another addition to my ‘salads don’t need tomatoes to be delicious’ series!

This tasty Orange and Basil Panzanella uses orange wedges, fresh basil and red onions to achieve a balance of sweet and tangy flavours. The juice of limes and a splash of Balsamic Vinegar are all that’s needed to create a dressing. The key is dressing only at the last minute so as not to end up with soggy croutons.

Panzanella makes a great side to grilled fish and chicken as it’s filling and provides options for a serving of fruit or vegetables and carbs to go alongside the protein. It had been a while since I’d served Panzanella, mostly because I’d gotten out of the habit of baking bread. The two kind of go hand in hand as Panzanella is great way to use up bread that’s on its last legs of freshness.

This Orange and Basil Panzanella has become part of our regular menu often as an accompaniment for a quick pan Chicken Piccata with a delicious briny caper and white wine sauce.

Try it the next time you’ve got some extra bread or when you’re simply looking for something different for a BBQ side. You won’t be disappointment!

Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

3 CUPS BREAD CUBED INTO 1 INCH PIECES

4 CLOVES GARLIC FINELY CHOPPED

2 TBSP MELTED BUTTER

1 RED ONION FINELY SLICED

JUICE OF 3 LIMES

2/3 CUP BOCANCINI

1 CUP BASIL LEAVES

2 LARGE ORANGES SECTIONED INTO WEDGES – It’s worth taking the time to section without the pith and membrane

SPLASH OF BALSAMIC VINEGAR – To taste

DIRECTIONS:

Toss the bread cubes with the melted butter and garlic. Bank in a 375⁰ oven until golden brown.

Meanwhile, combine the red onion slices and lime juice in a small bowl and allow to pickle – this brings out the sweetness in the onion and results in a more mellow flavour.

Once the bread cubes have had a chance to cool, toss with the orange segments, onions, bocancini and basil.

Sprinkle with balsamic and serve immediately.

Prep Time: 5 min

Cooking Time: 20 min

 

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