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August 20, 2013 | Issue 466

Taste of Tuscany

Grilled Panzanella

Mediterranean cooking has been the star of health headlines lately. It packs a variety of colorful vegetables, a dash of healthy fat and fresh flavor from a range of herbs and spices. It also calls for sensible portions and smart proportions of healthy foods, like our New American Plate, that can help you eat well for lower cancer risk. This recipe for Panzanella features cancer-fighting vegetables, grilled and lightly marinated with garlic and basil. Pair with a light grilled fish for a full Mediterranean meal.

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 193 calories, 11 g total fat (2 g saturated fat),
22 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 187 mg sodium.

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, chopped coarsely
  • 1 medium cucumber, seeded (or English cucumber) washed, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. green olives, pitted and chopped (capers may be substituted)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
  • 1/2 large red onion, cut in half and then 1/4 inch slices
  • 1/2 small loaf crusty whole-grain French or Italian bread, cut into 1-inch slices, halved


  1. In mixing bowl whisk garlic, mustard, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. In large bowl gently combine basil, cucumber, tomatoes and olives.
  3. Brush bell peppers and onion slices on one side with oil mixture. Place oil side down on hot grill and cook for 3-4 minutes. Brush other side with oil mixture, turn over and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.
  4. Remove from grill. On cutting board, slice peppers into 1/2-inch slices and separate onion rings. Add to vegetables. Add oil mixture and toss to coat.
  5. Toast both sides of bread until nicely browned.
  6. On a serving platter layer bread and top with vegetables and basil mixture. Toss bread with vegetables if desired. Serve.

Grocery list

Dijon mustard
White wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Green olives
Red bell pepper
Red onion
Whole-grain bread

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Mediterranean Diet, Heart Disease and Cancer Risk

New American Plate:
Portion and Proportion

Recipe Extra:
Mediterranean Fish

Did You Know?

Both the Mediterranean diet and AICR’s cancer-protective diet are plant-based, with a focus on a variety of vegetables and beans, and a limit on red meats.

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