• The Best Vegan Panzanella
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The Best Vegan Panzanella

Recipe by: Claire Fontanetta

We're so pleased to introduce our last Bright Rx: Easy Summer Salads contributor, Claire. Claire Fontanetta is part of the social team here at Brightland, and is the co-founder of Metta Society, a boutique social media marketing agency that specializes in analytics-driven social strategies for beauty, lifestyle, and fashion brands. While, over the last seven years she has honed in on her career as a Beauty Editor at Refinery29 and Marie Claire magazine—working hand-in-hand with brands like Revlon, Shiseido, Reebok, and Sephora—Claire is a firm believer that self-expression manifests in many forms. Her love of cooking, interior design, entertaining, drawing, and writing all play a big part in her creative pursuits.

Interview with Claire Fontanetta

What is your favorite way to unwind at home?

I unwind after a long day by cooking a nutritious dinner, followed by reading in bed with a cup of tea—or glass of vino, depending on the day. Some days if I really feel like indulging, I'll draw myself an essential oil-infused bubble bath and listen to an educational podcast. Stuff You Should Know, Fat Mascara, The Daily, Stuff To Blow Your Mind, Ted Radio Hour, Hidden Brain, and How I Built This are all on rotation at the moment.

What do you like to keep out on your kitchen countertop or "kitchen shelfie"?

We're in the process of renovating our kitchen at the moment, but typically, I love setting out a cookbook or two that I can easily crack open when I'm lacking inspiration in the kitchen. Cook Beautiful by Athena Calderone, NOPI by Ramael Scully and Yotam Ottolenghi, Taste & Technique by Naomi Pomeroy, and The Art Of The Perfect Sauce by Lorilynn Bauer and Ramin Ganeshram are a few that I'll regularly flip through.

What does living in a golden state meant to you?

To me, living in a golden state means to go through life with a sunny disposition and to embrace a positive outlook—be it via your relationships, your career, your passions, or otherwise.

If you could host a dinner party at home and invite 3 guests, who would they be, what would you serve and what music would play in the background?

hat's a really tough question! Probably Oprah, JK Rowling, and Madonna. I'd probably serve up my "famous" (a relative term) Moroccan Veggie Tagine with herbed Couscous—my go-to combo for entertaining larger parties. As for music, I've been really into Caravan Palace lately so I'd probably throw that on to get the party started!

What is your favorite independent magazine to feel inspired by + learn from?

To be honest, the only magazines I subscribe to are Cherry Bomb and Marie Claire (to support my former colleagues!), but I mostly draw inspiration from Instagram. Some of my favorite accounts are: @vogueliving, @eyeswoon, @lonnymag, @bestfilmphoto, @dreamermagazine, @tmagazine, and @historycoolkids.

Claire's Vegan Panzanella


  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 English cucumber, cut in quarters
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • Bunch of basil
  • 1/4 French baguette, cubed
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp of Brightland ARDOR olive oil


  • 1 Set your oven to broil on high.
  • 2 Prepare your croutons by placing the cubed French baguette on a baking pan. Drizzle with 1 tbsp Brightland Ardor, sprinkle with Maldon salt and freshly ground pepper. Broil on high for 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  • 3 Prepare your veggies. Using a mandoline, thinly slice the onion and peppers. Quarter and cube the cucumber and half the cherry tomatoes.
  • 4 Combine all chopped veggies, Brightland's ARDOR (or Brightland's AWAKE if you're sensitive to spice), toasted French bread, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper (to taste) in a large bowl. Top with chopped basil and serve immediately.
  • 5 Enjoy!