Now that the local tomatoes are finally getting ripe, it’s time to start dining on the Florentine bread salad known as panzanella. Here’s a recipe for a Grilled Chicken Panzanella from Jamie Purviance, author of “Weber’s On the Grill: Chicken & Sides.”
This recipe is the perfect way to use up half loaf of old bread, which soaks up all the juices of the tomatoes. And the basil vinaigrette allows you to take advantage of all the herbs out there, growing great guns in the garden.
Although the chicken is not a traditional ingredient, adding in some lean protein to all those yummy veggies makes it a bit more hearty for a one-dish, summer supper.
Grilled Chicken Panzanella with Basil Vinaigrette
½ cup loosely packed frehs basil leaves
¼ cup loosely packed fresh Italian parsley leaves and tender stems
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
3 medium summer squashes (such as zucchini and crookneck), cut lengthwise into ½-inch-thick slices
1 red bell pepper, cut lengthwise into ½-inch-thick slices
½ pound (1/2 loaf) country white bread, cut crosswise into 1/-inch slices
Extra-virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, each about 6 ounces
1 pound tomatoes, cored, cut into ½-inch cubes
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the basil, parsley, lemon juice, vinegar and garlic until coarsely chopped. With the machine running, slowly add the oil. Transfer to a small glass or stainless steel bowl and season with the salt and pepper.
Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350 to 450 degrees).
Brush the cooking grates clean. Lightly brush the squashes, pepper and bread on all sides with oil and season evenly with salt and pepper. Grill over Direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the vegetables are slightly charred and the bread has grill marks, turning once. The vegetables will take 4 to 6 minutes while the bread will take 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from the grill and let cool.
Coat the chicken on both sides with 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Grill, smooth side down first, over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the meat is firm to the touch and opaque all the way to the center, 8 to 12 minutes, turning once or twice. Remove from the grill and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes.
Cut the vegetables, bread and chicken into ½-inch cubes and combine in a large bowl with the tomatoes and feta. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Serve immediately.