Hungry Haley

it's more than food

Simple Summer Panzanella Salad

Salad, VegetarianHaley HansenComment

If you haven't yet added grilled hearty whole-grain bread to your salads, then meet this Simple Summer Panzanella Salad. It's a refreshing, satisfying, and exciting combination that isn't just lettuce and veggies. Enjoy!

I'm currently working on releasing from my mind the fact that this post should've been finished two nights ago and posted yesterday morning. Oops. 

Simple Summer Panzanella Salad

Once again, I'm here in San Luis Obispo, my favorite place in the world (as of right now, at least), as I decided to make this a long weekend trip to visit my girls. And once again again, we made zero plans and somehow found more fun and laughter and adventure than we ever have. Weird, huh? That being said, I did have some plans to squeeze in a little blog-work over the weekend, but those were squashed by last minute decisions to go star-gazing or line-dancing or late-night-chit-chatting until 1 AM.

My inner worker-bee wanted to scream when I chose my friends over the blog, but God held my hand (as always) and led me with comfort into the innumerable blessings He weaves into my friendships. The wine and mojitos might have helped with that, too, but it was mostly God - let's be honest. 

There's something about SLO that God is using to change me. He changed my heart big time last year, when I finally discovered the realness of His beauty and the meaning of life with Him, but that wasn't all He had planned. As I drove up here the other night and passed the "San Luis Obispo - 7 miles" sign, I felt my heart take a deep breath and sigh with the most contentment it has in a long time. Actually... that might've been a record-breaking amount of contentment. 

Simple Summer Panzanella Salad

So much so that when I talk about my love for SLO with my friends, it almost sounds like I'm really considering where a serious relationship is going. Like, that what's-next-for-us-because-I-really-like-you stage. Like, I've-never-felt-this-way-about-any-place-before feeling. Like, I-can't-imagine-my-life-elsewhere type thing. 

Like, I-want-to-soak-up-every-last-drop-of-it-before-we-part feeling. In other words, I want to spend minimal time on my laptop and maximum time appreciating what God gives me here. Want to know what I've been up to this weekend? YAY I'm so excited to share with you! 

Simple Summer Panzanella Salad


Trip to Cambria and Cayucos with a picnic and a stop at Brown Butter Cookie Co. with Grace (bff, as I call her) + lazy afternoon + dinner at the farmers' market + line dancing alllllllll night. 


Chill morning + afternoon walk along the beach with a friend and a latte + ice cream cookie sandwich (!!!!) + pizza and good music and good friends (and new friends) + star-gazing. 


Farmer's market + half a hike (only half for me because of the wounds) + another lazy afternoon + a friend's grand opening for his new gym + dinner with bff + more dancing, but not in lines (more like in loud, crowded bars). 


Early morning walk + church + wine-tasting (also !!!!!) + well, recovering from wine tasting. 

Monday (today) 

Catching up a little bit on life + bbq-ing with friends. 

Tuesday (tomorrow)

Heading out, hopefully for the last time ever, and counting the days until I can come back! 

Simple Summer Panzanella Salad

Moral of the story here: I've found "the one" in terms of home. I hope you have/do soon too! 

Simple Summer Panzanella Salad

Good thing I can make this panzanella salad no matter where I am because it's daaaaaang good, too. 

Makes 4-6 servings

1 loaf whole-grain bread, sliced
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup olives (green or kalamata)
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Fresh basil
Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Use 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil to lightly brush each bread slice (both sides). Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and grill each slice until charred on both sides, then remove from pan and set aside to cool. Once cooled, chop into thick 1-inch cubes. 
  2. Combine the tomatoes, feta, olives, and basil in a large mixing bowl and stir in the bread cubes. 
  3. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Refrigerate or serve immediately. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to one week. 
  4. Enjoy!
Simple Summer Panzanella Salad