Every day this week, we’re featuring a new easy, make-ahead weekday lunch idea that’s so good, you might just forget you’re eating at your desk. Today’s recipe: panzanella—Italian bread salad—tossed with tomatoes, radishes, fresh basil, albacore and chickpeas.
This modern take on a bread salad combines chewy cubes of whole-wheat sourdough with a tasty mixture of marinated tomatoes, tuna, and chickpeas. Use this recipe as a template for easy summer lunches, mixing different salad ingredients with the same dressing and bread.
Panzanella Salad With Tomatoes, Chickpeas & Tuna
3 cups (6 oz/185 g) 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes crusty whole-wheat sourdough bread
4 Tbs. (2 fl oz/60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbs. sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 can (15 oz/470 g) low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can (5 oz/155 g) water-packed albacore tuna, drained
1 cup (5 oz/155 g) seeded and diced English cucumber
1⁄2 cup (2 oz/60 g) thinly sliced radishes
1⁄2 red onion chopped
1⁄4 tsp. sea salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 lb (1 kg) ripe tomatoes, any color or variety
About 1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves, chopped
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Place bread cubes on a baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toast in oven until crisp and lightly browned on edges, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
While bread cubes are toasting, in a large salad bowl, whisk together vinegar and remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add chickpeas, tuna, cucumber, radishes, onion, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine, using a fork to break up the tuna, and set aside.
If using large tomatoes, cut in half horizontally and gently squeeze out seeds, using your fingertip to nudge them if necessary. Cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) chunks. Halve cherry tomatoes, if using. Add to bowl.
Just before serving, add bread cubes and stir to mix and coat well. Add basil and toss briefly to mix. Serve right away or let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Serves 4.
Find more great recipes for nourishing fare you can prepare in a flash in our book Healthy in a Hurry, by Karen Ansel, MS, RD, and Charity Ferreira.