Runner-friendly recipe: Panzanella with ‘lick-the-bowl good’ Champagne vinaigrette

 When you get an email from a runner-and-foodie friend that suggests that a certain kind of dressing is “lick-the-bowl good,” you’re likely to try the recipe that includes that dressing sooner rather than later.
I’m happy to confirm that the Champagne vinaigrette that accompanies this panzanella recipe from Ina Garten is, indeed, lick-the-bowl good. I was in public, so I didn’t. But I really, really wanted to. This is the perfect meal to prepare after returning from the farmer’s market. Or from a long run. Or a long swim. Or (let’s be honest here) after a long nap.
My apologies for the lack of a photo to accompany this: Hey, I never promised you a rose garden. Or fancy food photography.

For the panzanella:

  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained

For the ‘lick-the-bowl good’ vinaigrette:

  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil (I used a few tablespoons of olive oil. It was still good enough to lick the bowl.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.

For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

1 Comment

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One response to “Runner-friendly recipe: Panzanella with ‘lick-the-bowl good’ Champagne vinaigrette

  1. OMG! I LOVE PANZANELLA!! Thanks for posting. This is going on the menu for this weekend!!

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