Photo by Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post
This take on the Panzanella includes white beans for hearty texture and protein, turning it into a main-course option. Dicing everything into small pieces gives the easy, rustic dish a more elegant spin, and, rather than overwhelming it with heaps of bread, using just enough of a whole-grain loaf to get the juice-sopping effect keeps it lighter and more vegetable-centric.
Panzanella with White Beans
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 ½ cups cubed crusty whole grain bread (1/2-inch cubes)
3 cups grape tomatoes, quartered
1 medium English cucumber, diced into ½ inch pieces
One 15-ounce can of low-sodium small white beans or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
2 scallions, green and white parts, sliced thinly on the bias
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried
1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 large basil leaves
Place 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium skillet. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat. Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until toasted and crisp, about 6 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes, cucumber, beans, scallion, and thyme. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, and the vinegar, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Right before serving, add the toasted bread and tear the basil leaves into small pieces into the bowl, then toss to incorporate.
This recipe serves 4 main courses or 6 side servings
Makes 4 servings
Serving size: 1 ¾ cup
Per serving: Calories 300; Total Fat 15g ( Sat Fat 2g); Protein 10g; Carb 35g; Fiber 7g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 430mg