Panzanella, the classic Tuscan bread salad, is bursting with heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, mozzarella and fresh basil, the flavors and colors of summer! Our Panzanella is an easy recipe for a mouthwatering bread salad that’s a perfect side dish on a warm summer evening.
With today’s Summer Solstice and warm summer weather in full swing, the timing is right for a big bowl of Panzanella bread salad! Pick up some heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and a bunch of fresh basil at the Farmers Market, or better yet, just pick them from your vegetable garden, and your Panzanella recipe is almost done!
What is Panzanella?
Brimming with the flavors and colors of the season, the classic Panzanella salad is a traditional Italian recipe from the Tuscany region and a great way to use up day old bread. Cubes of day old or toasted rustic bread soak up the olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing making for a mouthwatering bread salad perfect on a warm summer’s evening. Add grilled chicken or shrimp and you’ve got a meal in a bowl!
What To Serve With Panzanella
What else should you include with your Panzanella bread salad while dining al fresco? You can top it with your favorite protein, chicken, steak or fish, and call it a meal, or serve it with one of these easy dinner recipes!
I always love to fire up the grill and Grilled Tuscan Chicken & Kale Pesto topped with fresh mozzarella and homemade pesto, will be a tasty compliment to your summer bread salad.
Prefer beef, then you will love an Espresso Rubbed Grilled Steak seasoned with the flavors of espresso, brown sugar for a little balance and sweetness, ancho chile pepper for a bit of a kick and smoked paprika for a hint of smokiness.
Or perhaps you’re in the mood for seafood in which case I would recommend Chipotle Honey Glazed Salmon With Pistachio Butter, salmon fillets seasoned with just the right amount of spice and glazed over with honey and a touch of orange, hot off the grill, topped with pistachio butter that melts down over the fillets.
If shellfish is what you’re craving then be sure to add Garlic & Herb Shrimp , with it’s light buttery sauce flavored with garlic and white wine and studded with oven roasted tomatoes, to the menu!
Panzanella is the classic Tuscan bread salad bursting with heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, mozzarella and fresh basil!
- 1 12 ounce rustic Italian bread, cut in 1-inch pieces, 8 cups
- 1 pint heirloom grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and chopped, 2 cups
- 8 ounces bocconcini, halved
- 1 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 6 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
Preheat oven to 425F. Arrange bread in single layer on baking sheet and bake 20 minutes until toasted; cool.
In large bowl combine toasted bread, tomatoes, cucumber, bocconcini, basil and red onion.
In small bowl whisk olive oil, vinegar, Dijon, sugar, garlic, kosher salt and pepper until blended.
Pour over bread mixture and toss until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours. Stir before serving.
Makes 12 cups.
Recipe can be halved to make 6 cups.