White Bean Panzanella with Creamy Avocado Dressing
July 18, 2010

White Bean Panzanella with Creamy Avocado Dressing | The Full Helping

This evening, I was chatting with Diana about the challenges of blog posting (namely, the feelings of guilt that ensue when one doesn’t have a chance to post as planned). I’m definitely susceptible to these, though lately I’ve realized that thoughtful posts will happen when they happen; I can’t will them into being simply in order to maintain a blogging schedule. On nights like tonight, when I’m a little tired, it’s nice to keep things simple. I’m sharing a white bean panzanella with creamy avocado dressing that’s super simple, yet anything but ordinary.

The salad is like a traditional panzanella salad in that it contains torn bread pieces and cannellini beans. There’s also basil in the dressing (which is so good, I made a second batch immediately upon tasting).

Aside from that, I suppose it’s not much like a panzanella salad at all: there’s no tomato, which is a customary part of the dish, nor tuna, which is a popular variation. Instead, these panzanella flavors are Gena-fied: creamy avocado, cucumbers, and sprouts. Sprouts on a panzanella salad? Yup. It’s how I do.

White Bean Panzanella with Creamy Avocado Dressing | The Full Helping

White Bean Panzanella with Creamy Avocado Dressing
Recipe Type: salad
Cuisine: vegan, soy free, gluten free option, tree nut free
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3-4 servings
  • For the salad:
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, pitted and cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked cannellini or navy beans (or 1 can beans, drained and rinsed)
  • 4 slices toasted and cubed bread of choice
  • For the Creamy Avocado Dressing:
  • 1/2 small avocado
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Blend all ingredients together in a blender till smooth.
  2. Toss the salad ingredients with as much dressing as you care fore (enough to coat everything well). Serve.

White Bean Panzanella with Creamy Avocado Dressing | The Full Helping

It may be one of the oddest renditions of panzanella you’ve seen (where are the tomatoes, after all? The vinegar?). But I promise that it’s so, so good.

With that, this little blogger is ready for bed. Happy Saturday, all.


Images courtesy of Lighter.

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  1. Gena, I had to stop myself mid-way through eating your recipe for panzanella salad to post this comment. The salad is awesome! The dressing by itself is sooooo good. I was licking the top of my blender and I would have licked the bottom if I could have stuck my head in there….lol. Thanks for an amazing recipe!

  2. Hi Gena,

    This is unrelated to your post, but relates to the one you wrote just recently about the Agave controversy. You mentioned that the Stevia plant is a good source for sweetener, and I was just wondering if Truvia (a sweetener derived from the Stevia plant) is all natural. I stay away from sweeteners like aspartame, xylitol, etc., and I noticed some questionable ingredients on Truvia’s label. Erythritol? Rebiana? Are those safe ingredients? Do you have a recommendation for a brand of Stevia sweetener I can buy? Thanks!

  3. You shouldn’t feel guilty about your posting efforts for one second, my dear boo-face! You are more prolific than anyone has a right to expect. That dressing does sound incredible, btw.

    I would write more but I’m going to go ahead and bleep myself out. 🙂

  4. I love Panzanella! You’ve inspired me to whip some up for the fam this week.

    You are so right about posting. It just needs to happen “organically” to be authentic and inspiring. I’ve stopped being a slave to a schedule for my blog. =)

  5. Good work, Gena. But I am more impressed with the dressing b/c I love dressing with OJ in them. I am a sweet girl, though, you know that about me 🙂 so I always do OJ, Agave, EVOO, other spices depending on what I feel like but I need to try to blend it w/ an avo. I hate to take out and dirty the Vita just for dressing (whisk whenever possible for me!) but I may need to get over the extra dishes 🙂

    Posting…you know I post daily and yes, it is a CHORE some days. There are not enough hours in the day many days and I am not sure why I just don’t let a day go and not put up a fresh post. I suppose it’s fear of disappointing others but I really need to honor myself and get over that. So far though, no such luck and I post whether I have the time or not. And if I don’t have the time, unfortunately, it’s my family time or sleep that suffers. Which is wrong, wrong, wrong. I know this. Thank you for addressing it in this post.

    And so jealz of your meetups with Diana. I would LOVE to meet both of you!!


  6. Salad looks great…and the dressing! Sounds perfect for this time of year ; )

    I agree with you about posting, Lori and I are always trying to find time. And then we feel guilty that we did not post, we talk about it for hours. But it happens!

    Have a good night!!

  7. Gorgeous! I just photographed and wrote the recipe for mine. It’s such a hearty, “manly” salad. Can I get a fist bump on that? 🙂

  8. That dressing – YUM! I’ve never thought of combining avocado and orange before, however reading it now makes me think it’s an ideal combo. Another winner.

    I think you do a great job of balancing your simpler posts (recipes, food porn etc.) with your more thought-provoking ones. Some days you challenge us to dig deep, other days you reward us with yummmy foods or inspire us to be a little ambitious in the kitchen. While some of your deeper posts have been among my favorites, the variation in depth allows me to muse over the heavier topics for a few days while still getting to hear your voice regularly on the lighter days. I love the vigor that ensues in the comments section associated with the deeper posts, however I’m not sure if that fervency would exist to the same degree if we were challenged with equal heaviness on a daily basis! In other words, in my opinion the balance is great! Kudos to you, my friend 🙂

  9. Totally relate to the guilt feelings when I haven’t posted for a while but I totally believe that REAL life is more important to me, and the posts will come when the posts will come. And it’s better for us (the readers) to hear from you when it is more timely for you! 🙂

  10. Oh yes, bloggers guilt gets us sometimes, doesn’t it?! I have to step back and realize that those who read my blog need me to live a life in order to write about it…even if it is just work and food…at least we are living…and eating well!

    The salad looks delicious and it has been years since I’ve had a panzanella..the gena-fied version sounds like one I would much prefer! The orange and basil dressing sounds heavenly as well.