Goat Cheese Panzanella Salad with Spiralized Cucumbers

vegetarian
Goat Cheese Panzanella Salad with Spiralized Cucumbers

Goat Cheese Panzanella Salad with Spiralized Cucumbers

If you made my stuffed peppers from Sunday (which, judging on Instagram, many of you did), you probably have leftover goat cheese.

Now, I have a recipe to put that goat cheese to good use – in this panzanella salad with spiralized cucumbers.

Goat Cheese Panzanella Salad with Spiralized Cucumbers

A panzanella salad is a salad of bread and tomatoes that’s popular in the summer, with Italian origins. Typically, the bread is cut into chunks and it’s stale.

When the stale bread is soaked in tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar and fresh herbs, it lightly softens and each cube is infused with fresh, summertime flavor.

The key to insuring this recipe stays clean-eating friendly? Finding the right bread to use!

Goat Cheese Panzanella Salad with Spiralized Cucumbers

Now, the best kinds of panzanellas use sourdough bread or ciabatta, but I found that the lightness of the whole wheat bread works nicely here.

The whole wheat bread I buy is from The Vermont Bread Company. I buy their Soft Whole Wheat, with simple, necessary ingredients and no added sugars, milks or weird chemicals.

I often get the questions, “Are you Paleo?” or “Are you gluten-free?” or, “Do you ever eat bread?” My answers? No, no and yes.

Goat Cheese Panzanella Salad with Spiralized Cucumbers

For lunch, I’ll often times have a veggie sandwich (with bread) and sometimes during the week, I have avocado toast with a fried egg for breakfast. I pick my days that I eat bread, because it’s pretty high on the glycemic index, which causes your blood sugar levels to rise, often times causing you to feel hungrier or thirstier later in the day, when your blood sugar levels “plummet” back down to normalcy.

So, if I don’t have a busy day or busy afternoon, I won’t typically have bread – but if it’s a day when I have a million errands, I’ll usually have a heavier lunch or breakfast that includes bread.

Goat Cheese Panzanella Salad with Spiralized Cucumbers

I think understanding the way foods affects your body personally and finding what’s manageable for you is invaluable!

Now that I’ve rambled forever about how I incorporate bread into my diet, you’re going to love this recipe! The bread isn’t stale – it’s grilled, which gives that nice summer taste and the same crispy toughness of stale bread.

Instead of waiting for your bread to go stale or for stalking your grocery store for the oldest loaf, just grill your bread in a grill pan- it’s an easy trick!

Goat Cheese Panzanella Salad with Spiralized Cucumbers

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Nutritional Information & Recipe

Weight Watchers SmartPoints*: 6 points

This is for about 3/4 cup of “salad” (making 6 servings):

Inspiralized

Goat Cheese Panzanella Salad with Spiralized Cucumbers

Yields 4-6

20 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

30 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • For the bread:
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, to drizzle
  • 3 pieces of whole wheat bread (I like Vermont Bread Company’s Soft Whole Wheat) or a gluten-free bread of your choice
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the salad:
  • 1 large seedless cucumber, Blade D, noodles trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 4 basil leaves, sliced
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 3oz crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2/3 cup quartered pitted green olives
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and drizzle with olive oil. Once oil heats, add in the bread slices and cook for 3 minutes, flip over, season with salt and pepper and cook another 3-5 minutes until the bread has grill marks, is golden brown and is “toasted.” When done, slice into cubes.
  2. While the bread cooks, pat the cucumber noodles dry thoroughly to rid of excess moisture. Place into a large mixing bowl along with the mint, basil, tomatoes, goat cheese, garlic, olives, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Once the bread is done and cubed, add it into the bowl with the salad and toss thoroughly to combine until goat cheese coats all ingredients. Taste and adjust to your preference.
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27 comments

What a refreshing summer meal! I just got a spiralizer and your cookbook a few weeks ago and am officially obsessed with all your recipes. :)
Nelly says:
You are so health conscious with you fantastic spiralized veggie recipes but God in heaven why would you eat/use bread. I'm very disappointed because I follow you on Pinterest and subscribe to your blog and own your book both in hard copy and ebook....yes, I love you..!! .....but, please, no bread.... What would you suggest as a suitable substitute in this recipe? Perhaps some crispy bacon?
Ali Maffucci says:
Thick cut bacon would work great here or just omit the bread - it's meant to be a panzanella salad, which has bread in it! You could try almond flour croutons also! All my recipes can't please EVERYONE, sorry this one disappoints you, Nelly - make substitutions/omissions to suit your preferences, always.
Coco says:
Really? Bread shamers!? Unreal. You are fantastic, Ali.
Ali Maffucci says:
Thank you, Coco :)
Jack says:
Bread isn't an enemy for goodness sakes.
H says:
Sounds quick, easy and very tasty! I love that you introduce me to great Italian dishes. It's lovely to see you pass on your heritage! Can't wait to try this one!! I agree re: bread. A little bit occasionally is fine, just not too much (which is my problem!.. mmmm... garlic bread!) Looking forward to more wedding updates and pics!! Voted again too!
Ali Maffucci says:
Thank you so much!! Can't wait to share :)
Suanne says:
Sounds yummy! How much in advance can this be made? Thank you!
Ali Maffucci says:
I wouldn't let it sit in the refrigerator for more than 2 days! Thanks.
Oh my yum! I saw you making this on Snapchat and I wanted it right away!
Karen W. says:
Another vote here for No Bread. Ali, I hope you can post a substitute ingredient. While I don't have Celiac, I do see and feel the bloat if I indulge in any bread. My daughter has gut pain - a more severe reaction. I bake my own almond-flour bread for the very occasional sandwich, refrigerating the loaf so it lasts (about 2 weeks) since I don't use chemicals or preservatives. I suppose I could use that in this recipe, but I was hoping for a different suggestion. For you no-grain fans, check out http://againstallgrain.com/ for great GF bread recipes.
Ali Maffucci says:
Making your own gluten-free bread option would work fabulously - or purchasing it at the store. Otherwise, just omit the bread and enjoy the salad as is - the flavors are still delicious! If you don't like bread, don't use bread :)
Ashley Renee says:
as someone who refrains from dairy in my own diet (it doesn't make me feel good <- most polite way to say it), I TOTALLY appreciate what you're saying about knowing your body and how certain foods will affect you. It's something I've been trying to work on a lot lately. I know you're a fellow TIU girl (or at least for the workouts) so you'll know what I mean when I say reading the nutrition plan really helped me jump start my understanding in how certain foods impact me. I'm not totally there, but I'm learning! All that being said, I get why people are requesting less gluten/bread for medical reasons - but you're totally right, there's no way you'll ever be able to please everyone. I come here even though I know i'll have to make my own substitutions because (A) your blog is GORGEOUS and all the pictures are so beautiful (B) I love reading about your life and feeling like I know you, but most importantly (C) because I know I can always leave out the dairy or if there's absolutely NO way to alter your recipe, it might still give me ideas or inspiration to base my own off of! Plus I'm a MAJOR bread lover so I can't wait to try this one out :)
Ali Maffucci says:
Yay for a fellow TIU girl!! Love that you're investing time into finding out what works best for you and your body (that's what it's all about!) and so happy you found my blog. Thanks for your kind note, it made my day :)
Karen says:
Since this is not a gluten free blog, I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. If you don't like bread, don't make the recipe. Beautiful looking dish as always, Ali!
Ali Maffucci says:
Thank you so much, Karen !! :)
Bari Holland says:
Wow! Made this recipe for my lunch today. Great flavor, creaminess from the goat cheese, crunch from the cucumber...awesome. I only had left over 'everything' bagels so that is what I made the croutons out of, it turned out great. Keep the great recipes coming.
Anna says:
I made this today for lunch. It was WONDERFUL!!! Thank you!!! I used a sprouted grain bread and it was great. I loved the textures and tastes together. My husband loved it too. :)
Linda says:
I love Panzanella salad! Had it in Italy (at a pot-luck style event!) and it was really different than the recipes I have found since. This woman almost crumbled the bread in it, rather than keeping it in chunks. This version sounds interesting with the goat cheese making a creamy base rather than the one I am familiar. Quick question - you often have the note after the spiralized veggies "noodles trimmed". What does that mean? I will be trying this salad over the weekend!
Ali Maffucci says:
It means just to chop them with a scissor after spiralizing to keep the individual noodles from being too long!
Lynn D says:
I made this today for lunch because I had a really big cucumber. I used a combination of cheeses since I don't have (and don't like) goat cheese - I used chunks of asiago and jack/habanero. I also used apple mint from my garden. Everyone loved it. We just wanted to eat it and forget the green salad I'd made or the smoked pork my husband had made. But we choked them down with this salad. I'm sad how the bread gets soft so it doesn't keep as nice for leftovers, but I think I can live with that for seconds. It's definitely a keeper I'll be making many times.
Linda says:
When i make panzanella, I will put the bread cubes on as I serve it. Unless people just scarf it down, the bread still soaks up the juices but stays just a bit more crunchy. This way you have better leftovers.
Pat says:
Thank you for posting this recipe....I made it tonight and it was fantastic! I plan on making this ALOT this summer.
Suzanne says:
OMG Ali! I just LOVE this recipe and everything you had in it was spot on! You are a culinary genius!
Patty Nyberg says:
I bought the Paderno spiralizer. Which blade is D that you refer to? I only have three blades. Also, why does the last almost an inch of the vegetable not spiralize? Kind of a waste, cause the uniformity is different than the noodles.
SK says:
Just finished this dish for dinner on an almost 90 degree night. It was perfect! Even husband said it was wonderful to have something cool and refreshing. I have to agree with the others, bread is fine if you can do bread, if not, leave it out or sub in something else. Bacon would have made it inedible in my opinion. I thought it was perfect as is!!

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