It’s no secret that I love chickpeas, and it’s definitely no secret that I’m addicted to bread. Because of these twin addictions, I thought it would be a great idea to include both ingredients in a simple panzanella salad. It’s surprisingly light with lots of fresh flavors (basil, oregano, veggies) and the raspberry balsamic vinegar gives it a sweet, summery twist. I’ve served this recipe at a few BBQs this summer, with rave reviews. It’s the perfect unique side dish to fuel you up for a day at the beach or by the pool. Try it out!

 

1 can chickpeas

4 slices of whole wheat bread

1 cup red bell pepper (chopped)

1 ½ cup tomatoes (diced)

½ cup red onion (chopped)

½ cup feta cheese

1 ½ tablespoons raspberry balsamic vinegar

½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

5-6 basil leaves

2 teaspoons fresh oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

Red pepper flakes to taste

 

Cut the bread into cubes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with a little oil, and toast in the oven until dried out and crispy. Allow these croutons to cool.

Drain and rinse the beans. Add to a large mixing bowl.

Chop the red pepper and onion, add to the bowl. Add the diced tomatoes to the bowl too.

Pour in the raspberry balsamic vinegar and the extra virgin olive oil, with a pinch of salt/pepper.

Tear the basil leaves into the bowl. Chop the fresh oregano and add to the bowl. Add the crumbly feta cheese.

Add red pepper flakes (if desired) and mix everything thoroughly. Cover and put the bowl into the refrigerator for at leave 20 minutes before serving. Mix in the croutons so they are evenly distributed throughout, and serve. Enjoy!

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