Barbecue chicken panzanella

This salad is our summer favourite and a fantastic way to use up tomatoes and dried-up bread. It’s even better as a main meal with chargrilled meats like these barbecued chicken thighs. Photographs by Jani Shepherd and styling by Fiona Hugues; Gatherum Collectif.

By Fiona Hugues
  • 25 mins preparation
  • 15 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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Barbecue chicken panzanella
  • day-old sourdough bread cut into 6 x 1cm-thick slices
  • 1 clove garlic
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 large red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup good red wine vinegar
  • 5 large acid-free tomatoes
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large roasted red capsicum
  • 6 boneless chicken thighs, seasoned and lightly oiled
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted (optional)
  • 1 large ball fresh mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup shaved parmesan


Barbecue chicken panzanella
  • 1
    Heat barbecue grill to medium heat. Rub bread with peeled garlic clove, drizzle with olive oil and grill on barbecue until toasted and showing grill marks on both sides.
  • 2
    Add onion to a large bowl and pour in the vinegar. This will marinate the onion and soften its sharpness while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  • 3
    In another bowl, tear the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces (I prefer tearing to cutting as it creates wonderful, meaty mouthfuls). Do the same with the cherry tomatoes, crushing them and letting them burst juice into the bowl.
  • 4
    Add tomatoes to bowl of onion. Tear capsicum into bite-size pieces and add to bowl.
  • 5
    Heat barbecue grill to medium-high and cook thighs on both sides until well marked and juices run clear.
  • 6
    Tear grilled bread into chunks and add to tomato mixture. Add basil leaves, olives (if using) and a good glug of olive oil. Toss everything to combine well.
  • 7
    Arrange on a large platter. Tear mozzarella into pieces and arrange evenly around plate. Do the same with the barbecued chicken.
  • 8
    Sprinkle plenty of shaved parmesan on top and an extra drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately.

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