Even though this dish is mostly bread and meat, it’s still a salad in our book! Panzanella is a Tuscan-style salad usually made with stale bread and tomatoes. Here we added the classic American flavors of a BLT with our Hickory Smoked Bacon, bibb lettuce, and a creamy citrus dressing.
Looking to use some stale bread? This is a perfect option for a hearty salad at brunch, or even as a light supper (maybe with gazpacho?).
- 1 day-old baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
- Coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 package Hickory Smoked Bacon
- 1 generous cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 generous teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ lemon, juiced and zested
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
- ½ head bibb lettuce, torn
- 1 packed cup baby arugula
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine bread cubes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Toss to combine evenly. Spread bread cubes on a rimmed sheet pan and bake until dry and lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool completely.
- Spread bacon strips on a wire rack over a rimmed sheet pan and place in oven. Turn oven temp down to 375 degrees F and bake until bacon is golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Spoon out about 2 tablespoons of the rendered bacon fat to a bowl, set aside. Cool bacon slightly then chop into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
- To a small bowl add tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl add Dijon, reserved bacon fat, lemon juice and zest, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Whisk until creamy and emulsified; whisk in mayonnaise, season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add bread cubes and parsley; toss to combine; let sit for about 10 minutes. Toss in tomatoes with their accumulated juices. Add bacon, lettuce, and arugula. Toss gently; season if needed (just remember the bacon is salty). Serve immediately.