Turn a classic panzanella salad into a main dish by adding in fresh, grilled, protein rich salmon!
One of my favorite things to eat for dinner on hot days is a cold salad. I love the crispness of the vegetables and all the bright fresh flavors. Most of the time I just end up making a big lettuce based salad full of different vegetables at the beginning of the week, that way it’s ready for eating whenever I am and with whatever I am eating. After a while though, I tend to get tired of the same leafy green salad and crave something different. Since my tomato plants are so heavy with yellow and red cherry and grape tomatoes I decided that a salad that was heavy on tomatoes was in order.
A panzanella salad was the first thing that came to mind. My two favorite things to put in my go to lettuce salads are cucumbers and tomatoes so why not just leave out the lettuce this time and replace it with toasted cubes of crusty bread and some red onion?
Panzanella salad isn’t something I make very often although I’m not sure why since it’s so darn delicious. Whenever I’m watching the Food Network I always seem to stumble upon an episode of Barefoot Contessa and there’s Ina making some variation of a panzanella salad. Every time I see her making it I think how easy, fresh, and colorful it looks.
To make this panzanella salad more of a main dish rather than a side dish I added a fillet of grilled salmon. The salmon added a nice rich meaty flavor to the fresh vegetables and crusty bread. The dressing for the salad is a simple dijon vinaigrette that didn’t overpower any of the flavors of the fish or vegetables. One note I will make is that the cubes of bread are best added in right before serving to prevent them from getting soggy. If you’re looking for a way to spice up your salad routine then give this fresh and filling Salmon Panzanella Salad a try!
Salmon Panzanella Salad
- 2 cups diced English cucumber, seeds removed
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
- 1 1/2 cups cubed baguette or other crusty bread
- 1/2 pound salmon, grilled, baked, or pan fried
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Black pepper to taste
- Sprinkle the salmon fillet with salt and pepper then grill, bake, or pan fry it until just cooked and flakey. Let the salmon cool to room temperature then use a fork to flake it apart.
- Preheat oven to broil. Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet then drizzle with a little olive oil (I used a couple teaspoons) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the bread cubes in the oil, salt, and pepper until coated then spread them out into a single layer and broil them in the oven until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and let them cool.
- In a large bowl combine the cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, and salmon. In a small bowl or jar whisk together or shake all of the ingredients for the dijon vinaigrette. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss together. Just before serving add in the toasted bread cubes and toss everything together.
This salad is best eaten the day it is made as the bread cubes will become soft the longer they sit in the salad.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 255Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 407mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 16g