This chicken and bread salad with Colavita® Premium Olive Oil will soon become your new, go-to dinner fix. It's easy, flavorful, and has everything!
Preheat oven to 450º. Trim the ends from the shallot, half through the root ends, and then finely dice. Pick parsley leaves and finely chop. Roughly chop the capers. Combine the raisins, diced shallot, chopped parsley, chopped capers, and Colavita® White Balsamic Vinegar in a medium bowl.
Core the radicchio and cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces. Remove and discard the fennel fronds. Halve and core the fennel and very thinly slice crosswise. Combine the radicchio, fennel, and baby kale in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and pat dry with paper towels. Drizzle the chicken with 1 tablespoon oil and brush to evenly distribute. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange, skin-side up and roast until golden and a thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees, about 30 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let cool slightly while the bread toasts. Once cool, using a knife, carefully remove the chicken breasts from the bones. Discard the bones and slice the breasts crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Cut the thighs and drumsticks apart at the joint.
While the chicken is resting, tear the bread into 2- to 3-inch chunks. Toss on a rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the torn bread until crisp and lightly golden, tossing a few times, about 10 minutes.
While slowly pouring, whisk the remaining ¼ cup of oil into the shallot mixture until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.
Drizzle 1/3 cup of the dressing over the prepared greens, add the toasted bread, and toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Scrape the salad onto a platter and arrange the chicken on top. Spoon the remaining dressing over the chicken and serve.
Chicken & Bread Salad with a Caper Vinaigrette
How To Make Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)
I always forget how amazing panzanella is, and then around this time every summer, I remember. This classic Italian salad seems somehow too simple — and too improbable — to be as good as it is. We’re talking about a mix of day-old bread and juicy ripe tomatoes with whatever veggies might be in need of using, all tossed with a light vinaigrette.
But panzanella is more than just another tomato salad with some croutons – give everything about a half hour to mingle and mix, and this bread salad goes from “pretty good” to a bona fide can’t-stop-eating-it dinner win.
The most important players in this dish are the bread and the tomatoes. The bread needs to be the hearty artisan kind with a crunchy crust – any others will become soggy and disappointing in the salad. I lean toward rounds of chewy sourdough here. If you have time and remember, cut the bread into chunks and let it sit out overnight on a baking sheet to harden and stale – after all, panzanella has traditionally been a way to use up the hardened ends of leftover bread. If you don’t have time, just toast the cubes in the oven for 15 minutes or so until crunchy but not toasted.
For the tomatoes, this is where you want to use your beautiful, vibrantly hued heirloom tomatoes. Go for a mix of colors because that’s what will be the most beautiful on the plate. Juiciness is a plus – the tomato juices will blend with the vinaigrette, adding another layer of flavor to the whole dish.
You can leave your salad just like this – tomatoes and bread, plain and simple – or you can add any other fresh vegetables you have on hand. Red onions, cucumbers, and peppers are top choices, but there’s nothing stopping you from adding things like tomatillos, green beans, fresh corn, or anything else from your farmers market haul. I also have a weakness for tossing chunks of fresh mozzarella with my bowls of panzanella.
The final detail for this dish is giving it a little time to sit before serving – this is where the magic happens. Panzanella needs a good half hour, or up to four hours, for the bread to absorb the tomato juices and for the flavors of all the vegetables to mingle. I find there’s a sweet spot with every batch where the bread has softened, but still has a little crunch near the crust. It’s definitely not soggy, but nicely chewy.
Don’t refrigerate the salad before serving or the tomatoes will lose their vibrant flavor. The salad is best eaten the same day it’s made.
For the chicken:
- Chicken breast – I recommend this free-range chicken that gets delivered right to my door. – Or any other oil suitable for high-heat cooking, such as avocado oil.
- Sea salt & black pepper
For the simple mustard sauce for chicken:
- Garlic – Freshly minced or jarred garlic will work.
- Chicken broth – Use low-sodium chicken broth like this one.
- Heavy cream – This helps to create a silky smooth sauce. For a dairy-free option, you can sub this with coconut cream.
- Fresh thyme leaves – Use 1 tablespoon fresh, or swap in 1 teaspoon dried.
- Dijon mustard – I highly recommend this whole grain Dijon mustard, but any kind will work.
Basic Sunday-Salad Dressing
Vinaigrettes are all based on a simple formula that uses roughly three parts oil to one part acid, a rule that achieves balance between the vivid sparkle of vinegar or lemon juice and the slick heaviness of olive oil. You can adjust for taste from there, adding a splash of oil if the dressing tastes too acidic, or a splash of acid if it’s overwhelmed.
Dressing advice: Whisk a lot. Start with vinegar and the flavors you’re adding to it: diced shallots, say, or garlic. If there is to be a cheese on the salad, I might add a pinch or two to the dressing early on, to help distribute its flavor. Whisk it around for a while.
And then continue to whisk, especially as you add the oil. The best vinaigrettes are emulsified — that is, they are smooth and at least temporarily stable, the disparate ingredients suspended among one another. (The addition to your dressing of already emulsified mixtures — maybe mustard or a dollop of mayonnaise — can help in this regard.)
French Green Bean Salad
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Green beans stampede into farmers’ markets in the summer. Among the many varieties you’ll see, haricots verts are best known for their delicate flavor and tender bite. A quick blanch and a toss in tangy Dijon dressing is all that’s needed to serve this side next to parchment-baked fish, rosemary-roasted chicken, or our Steak Marinade recipe.
What to buy: Haricots verts are slender green beans that are popular in France because they have a more delicate flavor than other green beans. If you can’t find them, substitute with the thinnest, youngest green beans available.
Be sure to get a high-quality Dijon mustard, or make your own whole-grain version.
Game plan: Tossing the haricots verts in the dressing while they are still hot helps the dressing adhere to each bean and mellows the flavors of the garlic and shallot, so make sure to have the dressing ready when you put the beans in the boiling water.
Cold and Salty Orange Salad
Any sweet orange citrus shines in this simple salad, which is more of a treatment than an actual recipe. Navels, Cara Caras, tangerines, Page or Daisy mandarins, Kishus and blood oranges fit the bill, particularly blood oranges since their deep red flesh and stripes add colorful contrast. The vinaigrette concentrates their flavor with more zest and a shot of mild rice vinegar to add an unobtrusive acidity. Use any kind of chile flakes you like for a spicier, or milder, heat.
Take one of the smaller orange citruses and, using a Microplane, finely grate the zest from half of it into a small bowl. Stir in the vinegar, olive oil and chile flakes, then season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
Working on a cutting board, remove the pith and peel from all the citrus. For citrus bigger than a tennis ball, cut between the membranes to free its wedge-like sections. For smaller citrus, simply slice across the sections to make thin rounds, about ¼-inch-thick, removing any seeds as you go. Transfer all the sliced citrus and juices to a serving platter big enough to fit them in a single-ish layer and preferably one with a lip to contain their juice. Spoon the vinaigrette over the slices.
Arrange the celery slices evenly over the citrus. If your feta comes with brine, drizzle a couple teaspoons of the brine over the salad. Roughly crumble the feta and arrange it over the salad, followed by the olives. Cover the whole salad with a sheet of plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
Uncover the salad and serve chilled. This is great as a side to salmon fillets, roast chicken thighs or sliced duck breast.
Giada’s Classic Italian Recipes
This might be the recipe we make on repeat the absolute most. You can use bolognese in so many ways, but of course, tossed in with pasta is #1.
While the name of this traditional dish might suggest you should save it for a special occasion, it’s so easy and so delicious – you should make it whenever you want!
If there ever was a moment when we knew we were Italian in heart, it was when we found out that bread salad was a thing in Italy. Best idea ever!
This is one of Giada’s most popular recipes ever – and the best seller at Giada Vegas. It was inspired by a classic restaurant in Capri, Italy, and the rest is history!
In the south of Italy, fritto misto (literally “mixed fried”) is a common starter to any meal – and it’s great to nibble on with an aperitivo!
When you’re feeding family for Sunday supper, is there a better choice than lasagna? We think not!
It’s very common to find melon used in savory applications in Italy – and after trying this salad, you’ll figure out why. The ultra-savory asparagus mixed with sweet cantaloupe, tangy tomatoes and salty ricotta salata is an Italian flavor-bomb that you’ll turn to every spring and summer.
When we think of rustic and hearty Italian food, chicken cacciatore comes to mind! Many Americanized versions of this dish are extremely heavy and greasy, but Giada’s version keeps it lighter and full of flavor.
In Italy, you’ll find this sauce of capers, lemons and herbs served with all types of dish – especially scallops and swordfish. Sole is a very delicate and tender fish that just so happens to be less costly, and it cooks up in a flash!
This recipe passed down in Giada’s family requires one thing above all: patience! It’s an absolutely delicious dish that takes some time to assemble, but it’s worth every minute. It also makes the best leftovers.
If you’re looking for the ultimately classic baked ziti, this is it! Aunt Raffy says the hardboiled eggs are non-negotiable, but if you’re not a fan, don’t worry – we “forget” to add them sometimes!
This seafood-and-pasta staple graces the menu of almost every restaurant on the Italian coast! Flavored with garlic, shallots, white wine, lemon and herbs, this refreshing and bright pasta pairs well with a crisp white wine – and a sunny day.
Perhaps the most quintessential salad of Italy! Giada’s version uses a variety of tomatoes, and it’s drizzled with a bright vinaigrette to tie it all together. Hint: burrata works excellently here too!
Giada uses turkey in these meatballs, but you can replace with ground chicken, or even beef! They’re perfect tossed with pasta, eaten with crusty bread, or on their own.
This simple pomodoro is so good, Giada auctions it off bottles of it for a fundraiser at Jade’s school every year! It’s so simple and bursting with flavor – just make sure you use Pomodorini tomatoes!
Day-old risotto lives its best life in the form of these fried balls of deliciousness: arancini! You’ll find these fried goodies in all forms in Naples and the south of Italy.
Any pizza night needs a good dough to kick it off! While there are plenty of serviceable store-bought pizza doughs, you can’t beat the texture and flavor of a homemade one. This recipe isn’t tricky at all, and it creates that signature Neopolitan-style crust!
Similarly to Italian Wedding Soup, even though this pie is traditionally eaten at Easter, Italians love it so much they eat it whenever. And you should follow suite!
In Italy, you’d be hard-pressed to walk into a gelateria that doesn’t sell a chocolate-hazelnut flavor. It’s an extremely popular flavor in Italy, and we understand why!
Tiramisu might be a fairly young dish, but it’s quintessentially Italian! You can make this dish up to 3 days in advance, cover it in the fridge, and shave fresh chocolate over right before serving.
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
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Skillet Veggie Quinoa Enchilada Bake (Vegetarian, Low FODMAP)
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Roasted Ratatouille Vegetable Enchiladas with Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce
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Baked Chicken Shawarma Rice Casserole (Low FODMAP)
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- For the Vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh juice from 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons freshly minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
- 2 teaspoons DIjon mustard
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the Skewers:
- 1 large zucchini, ends trimmed, halved lengthwise, and cut into 3/4-inch slices
- 1 large yellow squash, ends trimmed, halved lengthwise, and cut into 3/4-inch slices
- 1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch cubes and separated into 3-layer segments
- 2 medium red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch squares
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- Type of fire:Direct
- Grill heat:medium-high
Addressing a Dressing: Making the Vinaigrette for Panzanella
With the tomatoes and the bread tended to, the only thing remaining was to address the vinaigrette. Until now, I'd been keeping things nice and simple with plain olive oil and vinegar, but it could do with a bit more tinkering.
From my previous exploration of how to make a vinaigrette for a simple salad, I knew the most important part is the ratio of oil to water-based liquid. Get that ratio wrong, and your vinaigrette will break, making foods taste wet and greasy. And since I was adding so much liquid in the form of tomato juice, raising the olive oil content was essential.
As for flavorings, some finely minced shallots and garlic worked perfectly with the hearty bread, and a small dollop of Dijon mustard went a long way toward ensuring that the vinaigrette stayed smoothly emulsified as I tossed the salad. It's not a traditional Italian ingredient, but hey, go back far enough and neither are tomatoes, right?
This is the kind of salad you want to take your time eating—not just because hot weather demands you take a moment to relax, but because the bread will continue to change texture as you eat your way through it.
The result of my experiment was a panzanella with the most intense tomato flavor of any I've ever had, and a texture that straddled the lines between tender and crisp, moist and meaty. It might not be how the ancient Romans ate their bread and onion/cucumber/[insert ancient Mediterranean vegetable here] salads, but I'd imagine even the most battle-hardened centurion would have trouble saying no to this modern classic.
Why It Works
- Oven-drying fresh bread produces a better texture than using stale bread.
- Salting and draining tomatoes produces more flavorful tomato chunks.
- Adding tomato juice to the dressing makes a flavor-packed vinaigrette.
This classic Italian panzanella, a bread and tomato combo that is peak summer, manages to be fresh and seasonal, but still hearty enough to eat as lunch or a light supper.