I usually add cucumbers to my panzanella salads, but I didn’t have any on hand, so I used cantaloupe instead. This helps to add water content to balance out the crunch from the croutons, and the light flavor of the melon paired perfectly with the acidic tomatoes. I like to let the salad sit for about twenty minutes before eating it, to let all of the flavors soak together. I tossed this in homemade Italian dressing to add some zest. Classic Italian dressing is made with parmesan cheese so I substituted this with nutritional yeast, but you can leave this out if you don’t have any on hand.
Cantaloupe Panzanella Salad
- 2 cups bread, cubed
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1 1/2 cup cantaloupe, cubed
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
- 2 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp raw honey
- 1/2 tbsp brown mustard
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- sea salt & black pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Toss the bread with the olive oil, coating it well. Pour onto a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, flip, and bake for another five minutes. Remove from oven.
3. While the bread is toasting, prepare the salad and dressing. Add all of the ingredients for the salad into a bowl and toss together. Set aside.
4. To make the dressing, add all of the ingredients to a mason jar and shake well. Only use 1/4 cup of the dressing for this salad, and set the rest aside for another use.
5. Toss the dressing over the salad and mix well.
6. Stir in the croutons and serve.
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Photo: Lauren Sacerdote