Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.
Things I love about summer: late nights, grilling with friends, fruity fresh cocktails, and picnics! I’ve got the late nights with friends, grilling while sipping cocktails down, but sadly, not nearly enough picnics have been had.
The last picnic Jason and I went on was last summer to the beach – it was a perfect night. There was absolutely no stress. We threw two chairs and our cooler in the trunk, and picked up a few salads and snacks from the grocery store. #perfection
That is pretty much the best thing about a picnic, no stress. Seriously why haven’t I gone on more picnics?!
One of my all time fave sandwiches any time of year is a good ol’ BLT, but since that’s a sammie best served hot, it isn’t going to hold up all that well for my perfect picnic. Do you know what will work? A BLT salad! But not just any salad, a Panzanella Salad. If you’ve never had a traditional Panzanella, you’re totally missing out; an Italian salad made of bread and tomatoes that’s just perfect in the summer. It includes chunks of soaked stale bread and fresh tomatoes. I only recently discovered this flavorful, yet simple salad myself a few years back when I was at a local restaurant here in Tampa. WHY HADN’T I HEARD OF THIS SALAD BEFORE?! It’s all good though, I will eat all the Panzanella to make up for lost time.
So back to this BLT idea – we’re combining my fave sandwich, with my fave summer salad and making it its own thang. And we’re not stressing over it, because we’re going on a summer picnic and we’re leaving our worries at the door!
The only way this picnic can get any better is with a glass of wine. But who wants to bring a big bottle, corkscrew and glasses to our simple, stress-free picnic? Not me, that’s who. Good thing Gallo Family Vineyards make mini bottles of wine! At 187ml, I can bring a mini bottle of wine (or two) for my perfect picnic – find your next bottle, big or small here!
I like to pack a bottle of Gallo Family’s Red Moscato or Pinot Grigio for days like this. Both are refreshing, and sweet for the summer heat, without being too too sweet. And they’re just fun. I want a fun, refreshing wine for my BLT Panzanella picnic, for sure.
This salad can easily be made ahead of time in mason jars (layered in the following order: 2 tbs dressing, tomatoes, bacon, bread, romaine lettuce). Or mix all the ingredients together, and wait to add your dressing until you’re ready to eat, because even though we’re using hard bread, it will get soggy if the dressing sits for too long.
Use any fresh tomatoes you like! If you can find heirlooms, grab those (I used vine for today’s recipe). Pick up a pint of grape tomatoes for texture and size. You can even saute the grape tomatoes until they burst slightly for added flavor!
- 4 cups French bread cut into 1 inch cubes, one day old
- 6 slices bacon, cooked, chopped
- 2 cups grape tomatoes
- 2 cups heirloom, or vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook bacon in open pan. Toss grape tomatoes in the bacon drippings. Sear the grape tomatoes in pan, until bursting for about 5 minutes.
- Combine red wine vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl, slowly whisk in olive oil to create vinaigrette.
- Combine all tomatoes, cubed bread, bacon, and lettuce. Toss in vinaigrette immediately. If saving for a picnic, wait until ready to serve to add dressing.
Make sure to visit Gallo Family’s Picnic blog post
- 10 Deviled Egg Variations by Sunday Supper Movement
- Thai Spiced Chicken Meatballs with Peanut Sauce by Soni’s Food
Picnic Main Dishes:
- Baked or Grilled Tandoori Chicken Legs by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- BBQ Pulled Pork Picnic Sandwiches by Family Foodie
- Creamy Pesto Chicken Sandwiches by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- French Ham and Butter Sandwich (Jambon Buerre) by Shockingly Delicious
- Grilled Honey Chicken Kabobs by Life Tastes Good
- Italian Hoagie Style Pressed Picnic Sandwiches by Feed Me, Seymour
- Kimbap (Korean ‘Sushi’) by Curious Cuisiniere
- Picnic Sandwich Torte by Palatable Pastime
Picnic Salads and Sides:
- BLT Panzanella Salad by Casa de Crews
- Cold Chinese Peanut Noodles by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Lemon Chicken Penne Salad by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Mason Jar Salmon Nicoise Salad by Simply Healthy Family
Picnic Sweets and Desserts:
- Banana Pudding Cups by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Blueberry Crumb Bars by Alida’s Kitchen
- Blueberry Peach Snack Cake by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Key Lime Cheesecake Crumb Bars by Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
- Lemon Meringue Pie in a Jar by Desserts Required
- Simple Strawberry Pie by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Southern Fried Apricot Hand Pies by Magnolia Days
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