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Winter Bread Salad

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February 25, 2014 | Issue 493

The Art of the Salad

Winter Bread Salad

Piling on produce and tossing in whole grains, beans or a sprinkle of nuts is a sure bet for a nutritious salad. Try this winter recipe featuring comforting whole-wheat bread, plum tomatoes and sweet onion. Dressed with a traditional Panzanella dressing, it packs the sharp flavor of vinegar with the light touch of oregano. Work a colorful salad into your day to get a variety of plant foods an important element of a cancer-protective diet.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 158 calories, 8 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 20 g carbohydrate,
4 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 281 mg sodium.


  • 3 cups whole-wheat Italian bread (4 oz.), in 1-inch cubes
  • 1 garlic clove, halved lengthwise
  • 3 very ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
  • 3 cups romaine lettuce, cut crosswise into 3/4-inch strips
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley, optional


  • 3 Tbsp. white or red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil


  1. Spread cubed bread in single layer on baking sheet and let sit until surface feels dry on most sides, or cubes are firm but not stale-hard, 2 to 6 hours.
  2. Rub salad bowl, preferably wood or bamboo, liberally with cut side of half a garlic clove. Reserve the other garlic half for another use. Cut tomatoes lengthwise into quarter-wedges, then cut crosswise into chunky pieces. Place tomatoes and any juice in prepared bowl.
  3. Add celery, onion and bread cubes. Arrange lettuce over chopped vegetables. Sprinkle on parsley, if using.
  4. For dressing, whisk vinegar, salt and sugar in small bowl until salt and sugar dissolve. Add oregano and 3-4 grinds pepper. Whisk in oil.
  5. At table, pour dressing over salad and toss until it well-coated and any extra dressing pools in bottom of bowl. Divide salad among 4 wide, shallow bowls, including liquid from bottom of salad bowl.

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Grocery list

Whole-wheat Italian bread
Plum tomatoes
Celery rib
Sweet onion
Romaine lettuce
Parsley, optional
White or red wine vinegar
Sea salt
Cane sugar
Olive oil

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Recommendation 4:
Eat a Variety of Plant Foods

Tips for the Salad Bar

Recipe Extra:
Healthy Homemade Salad Dressings

Did You Know?

Panzanella is a traditional summer Tuscan salad with stale bread and vine-ripe tomatoes. It’s easily adaptable in winter by using plum tomatoes, which tend to fare better in the off-season.

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