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Warm Summer Panzanella

Panzanella is basically an Italian summer salad made out of old bread and fresh tomatoes. Bread being looked at as pure evil within a low-carb way of eating, is tough to imagine being the primary focus of a whole salad! Read on ...

There are many low-carb bread products on the market. You can find them in the store, online, or you can even make them yourself! Some use wheat, some pass on all grains, many are gluten free. This would really work with any of them. Picture a normal salad, but with LOTS of croutons. Stale bread or croutons are little more than bread that's been dried out. Toss this into some lettuce and tomatoes and ... that's Panzanella!

I personally see this as a bit of a treat. I eat this almost never, but every once in a while, I'll take the loaf of bread stashed in my freezer, defrost it and make croutons with it. More often than not, a dish like this gets made when I'm entertaining. I can't recall ever making it "just for me". I tend to try avoiding most breads like this, but it's undeniably delicious! This is a great salad for maintaining ones weight, for an individual that worries less about breads than I do, or ... for a splurge or entertainment. I know it feels like a lot of "Warning, Will Robinson!", but it's only because this salad is so good, I think it needs a little perspective built around it. It's a treat; a donut, as it were.

A tantalizing "pesto crusted, drippy with summer tomatoes and toasty croutons salad" donut.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 726.285kcal
Author: DJ Foodie


  • 3 cups low-carb garlic croutons
  • 1/2 lb cherry tomatoes washed, dried and halved or quartered
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto 2 tbsp reserved for basting
  • 2 tbsp light oil (for sautéing ... such as coconut olive or ghee)
  • 2 each small green zucchini and/or summer squash cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 lb green string beans ends and string removed, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup arugula washed and dried
  • 1/2 cup parmesan (reggiano) cheese grated
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (for drizzle)
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste


  • Start with any stale bread (low-carb, preferably). Put the bread in the bottom of a large salad bowl.
  • Next, cover the croutons with your cut tomatoes. Season them with a little salt and pepper (the salt will pull the water out of the tomatoes, which will leak onto the croutons to soften and flavor them)
  • Pour lemon juice over the tomatoes.
  • Spread your pesto around the edge of the bowl, where the tomatoes and croutons meet.
  • Add cooking oil to the hot pan non-stick pan and swirl it around. Once the oil is clearly rippling, add the cut zucchini and summer squash. Season with a little salt and pepper, and let sear for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the green beans and cook with the zucchini, for about 4 more minutes. Season with a bit more salt and pepper.
  • Dump your hot veggies onto the tomatoes in the bowl.
  • On top of the warm veggies, place your washed and dried arugula, grated parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Toss the salad well, to make sure the croutons are coated with pesto.
  • Serve!


Serving: 4g | Calories: 726.285kcal | Carbohydrates: 21.8275g | Protein: 20.5175g | Fat: 102.435g | Fiber: 12.005g