Grilled Cheese Panzanella Salad

Gooey, warm and delicious—What’s not to love about grilled cheese?!
This recipe is a perfect summer take on the old time favorite: Grilled cheese meets salad..All in one! With whole wheat bread and reduced fat cheese, this deliciously adapted recipe received this mom’s mini-makeover. Served with a homemade dressing and tossed with fresh veggies, this mom’s dish makes for a perfect side, or even main course!

adapted from Panini Happy

 

INGREDIENTS:

Grilled Cheese Croutons:

  • 4 slices day-old rustic, whole-wheat bread
  • 2 ounces reduced fat mozzarella cheese, sliced

Salad:

  • 1 pound medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

White Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. If you don’t have a panini grill, in a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Heat 2 slices of bread on the pan and layer slices of cheese on top. After 2 minutes, close each sandwich with remaining bread slices and flip. Allow to cook for 2 more minutes, or until cheese has melted. Transfer to cooling rack or plate; cool completely. Cut into 1-inch cubes.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar,  mustard, salt and pepper until the salt is dissolved. Gradually whisk in the olive oil.
  3. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes,onions, cucumbers, and basil with dressing. Just before serving, add grilled cheese croutons to salad. Toss to combine and serve immediately.


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