Panzanella (A New Twist on Salad)

Salad.  It can get boring. Especially if you have it everyday of the week. Sometimes, you just need an interestingly delicious lunch to get you through the workday. Panzanella is a twist on a salad that learned from a chef in Venice. Essentially a salad without the lettuce. This recipe is full of fiber and healthy vegetables, plus you can make it for dinner and bring it cold to lunch the next day (even better).

1 can of rinsed and drained chickpeas (or 1 day old Italian Tuscan bread about 2 slice- which is traditional)
3 celery stalks
1 yellow pepper
1/2 small red onion or 3-4 scallions
3-4 ripe tomatoes
1 seedless cucumber
fresh basil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
sea salt a pinch
black pepper
may use fresh lemon juice
capers are optional
Soak the one day old bread in water for about a 2 – 3 minutes …then squeeze excess water out & set aside. (If you’re using chickpeas, just rinse and drain one can and set aside)
Chop the celery, pepper, onions, tomatoes,  cucumber, and basil. Mix together with oil and vinegar. Add salt, black pepper, and a splash of lemon juice (add capers: optional).
Place the day old bread in the center of a dish and then top the mixture over the bread & sides of the plate. Refrigerate and serve cold. Refreshing!

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