This will really hit the spot on a sunny day. I tweaked a sandwich recipe I liked to create this bread salad because—and, I’m having a very Seinfeld, eating-a-candy-bar-with-utensils-moment, here—I found it much easier to eat with a knife and fork than in sandwich form. The veggies kept slipping out and there was far more dripping than I was comfortable with. It’s possible I may be one of those “society types”…
Although, I once saw a woman I worked with eating popcorn with a spoon. A spoon! Too far. (Cue Elaine’s line: “What is wrong with all you people?!!”) My coworker said she hated getting her fingers covered in butter and salt, which I kind of understand, but here’s my problem: how many popped kernels can a spoon really take on? Because the thought of only being able to get two or three into my mouth at a time sounds positively tedious. And they’re so light, it seems like they’d just fly away before the spoon could get to your mouth. Am I wrong?
Too much trouble. Buttery fingers it is.
Anyhoo, enjoy this tasty bread salad, and enjoy your drip-free shirt and non-sticky hands when you’re done eating.
Vibrant Spring Bread Salad
Single Serving | Vegan (w/options)
Prep time: 20 min | Cook and serve time: 15 min
1-1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise (vegan option: vegannaise)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon salt
1 chicken breast (vegan option: 1/2 cup garbanzo beans)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red bell pepper, sliced
1 small zucchini, sliced
1/4 red onion, sliced
1 small yellow squash, sliced
2 cups cubed focaccia
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (vegan option: simply omit—it’s still delicious without it)
- FOR CHICKEN: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small baking dish coated in cooking spray, cook chicken breast until no longer pink inside, 15 to 20 minutes. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
- In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, minced garlic, lemon juice, and dried basil.
- Prepare red bell pepper, zucchini, red onion, and yellow squash.
Cook and Serve:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a resealable plastic bag, shake focaccia cubes with olive oil until coated. Pour into a baking dish, then bake until toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. (Stir halfway though.)
- Coat a medium skillet in cooking spray, then add red bell pepper, zucchini, red onion, and yellow squash. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, toss together veggies, bread, chicken/garbanzo beans, and feta with pre-mixed dressing.
- I know it’s mostly vegetables, but this recipe is actually very filling. So, when you go shopping, really do try to find the smallest red bell pepper, zucchini, etc., that you can find—even with those, you’ll still end up with quite a bowl-full.
- My oven really takes its sweet time preheating. When I was about halfway through waiting for my focaccia cubes to get crispy, I thought, well that was stupid—why didn’t I just put the bread in the toaster, then cube it afterwards?? So, if your oven is a slow poke, use the toaster method.