I'm a proud daughter. And, she did.
What this salad recipe has to do with the golf tournament, I'm not really sure. Except that whilst my mom was in the final hours of planning over the weekend, I made her a salad and it kind of sucked. She is so supportive that she still raved about it. So, I'd like a re-do to make this grilled Panzanella salad for my mom. It was so delicious, just like she deserves.
Adapted from Ina Garten
Prep Time: 25 min Cook Time: 20 min Level: Easy Serves: 6 servings
Good olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2-3 tablespoons champagne or red wine vinegar (to taste, i like equal parts vinegar and oil)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 large ripe tomato, cut into 1-inch cubes
5 large basil leaves
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1 red onion, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 3 large pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 3 large pieces
1/2 small baguette, cut into cubes
Prepare the grill*. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, mustard, vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
Place the cucumber, tomato, basil and capers in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss together. Set aside.
Toss the bread, onions slices and the peppers with olive oil. When the grill is ready, place them on the grill and cook for 4 minutes (we like our onions charred, so we leave them on longer). Turn them over and continue cooking an additional 4 minutes. Toast the bread on the grill until golden. Remove the vegetables from the grill and place on a cutting board.
Cube the peppers, separate the onion rings and add them both to the cucumber mixture. Add them to the cucumber mixture. Pour the reserved vinaigrette over the vegetables and toss together. Serve warm.
Grilled Norwegian Fjord Trout over Panzanella Salad
Lightly brush fillets with olive oil and place skin side up on lightly oiled grill and cook for 5 minutes. It is important to not touch fillets for the 5 minutes or they might stick to grill. Flip fillets and cook another 5 minutes or until barely opaque in the center.
Panzanella Salad (Adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe)
- 3T good olive oil
- 1/2 French baguette (day old works great), cut into 1” cubes
- 1 t kosher salt
- 2 ripe tomatoes cut into 1” cubes
- 1/2 seedless cucumber, unpeeled, sliced 1/2” thick
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1” cube
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1” cubes
- 1/4 red onion thinly sliced
- 10-12 large basil leaves, torn into coarse pieces
- 2 T capers, drained
For the Vinaigrette (This makes more than you’ll need, save the rest for another salad!)
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1/2 t Dijon mustard
- 3 T Champagne vinegar
- 1/2 C good olive oil
- 1/2 t kosher salt
- 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the bread and salt cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed. You may have to do this in 2 batches.
For the vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients together.
In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with about 1/2 the vinaigrette, more if desired. Season with salt and pepper.
Note: If the salad sits for too long after the vinaigrette is added the bread cubes can become soggy, still tasty but not desirable.
- Step One: First, slice a loaf of bread in half, lengthwise. Then seed and chop peppers into large pieces. Next, slice the onion into quarters. (Photo 1 below)
- Step Two: Next, grill bread, bell peppers, and red onion over medium-high heat until bread is brown and toasted on both sides and peppers and onions are slightly charred. Then remove bread, peppers, and onion from the grill and cut into 1-inch pieces Put in a large bowl. (Photo 2 below)
- Step Three:Next, chop tomatoes into 1-inch pieces Then chop cucumber into 1/2 inch pieces. Add to bowl with bread, peppers, and onions. Finally, roughly chop basil and parsley and add to bowl with bread and vegetables. (Photo 3 below)
- Step Four: When ready, prepare the vinaigrette. In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, oil, mustard, and House Seasoning Blend.
Next, add garlic. and pour over the salad. Finally, serve immediately or allow to sit for 30 minutes for the flavors to combine. (Photo 4 below)
Step by step instructions for making Grilled Panzanella Salad: Step 1: Cucumbers and Tomatoes in a Bowl chopped up. Step 2: Peppers and bread in a pan, Step 3: Bread cubs, cooked peppers, cucumber, and tomatoes all in a glass bowl together, Step 4: Oil, mustard, seasoning all in class bowls.
What is Panzanella Salad?
Panzanella salad is a Tuscan style salad made of fresh tomatoes, day old or stale bread cubes, onions and sometimes basil. It often includes cucumbers and is dressed with a zesty olive oil based dressing.
Grilled panzanella salad simply means that the bread is grilled to take this salad’s flavor profile over the top!
Because this panzanella bread salad recipe has chickpeas and quinoa in it, it’s not considered a traditional panzanella salad. However, in order to make this salad a main, I thew them in. I mean, why not?
For the vinaigrette
- ▢ 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- ▢ 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ▢ 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
- ▢ 1/2 cup really good extra-virgin olive oil
- ▢ 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- ▢ 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the panzanella
- ▢ 3 tablespoons really good extra-virgin olive oil
- ▢ 1 small French bread or boule, preferably a day old cut into 1-inch (25-mm) cubes (6 cups)
- ▢ 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ▢ 2 large ripe tomatoes cut into 1-inch (25-mm) cubes
- ▢ 1 hothouse cucumber unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick
- ▢ 1 red bell pepper seeded and cut into 1-inch (25-mm) cubes
- ▢ 1 yellow bell pepper seeded and cut into 1-inch (25-mm) cubes
- ▢ 1/2 red onion cut in half and thinly sliced
- ▢ 20 large basil leaves coarsely chopped
- ▢ 3 tablespoons capers drained
- ▢ 1 handful parsley leaves (optional)
Make the vinaigrette
Make the panzanella
Recipe Testers' Reviews
Panzanella is such a wonderful alternative to standard leaf-based salads. They’re hearty, nutritious, and very delicious. I didn’t eat this salad as a side to my main meal. I ate it AS my main meal. It served as a great departure from the heavy, hot meals I often eat on a cold January night. The bright notes in this salad really awakened my palate and convinced me that it can be eaten any time of the year. Here’s why:
Flavors: What is so pleasing about this salad is that it is filled with a medley of garden flavors that really play well off one another. The understated tomato and cool cucumbers and peppers are given a little zip and zing with help from red onions and capers. All of these vegetables also accept the tart flavors of the dressing (which was not oily or overpowering) easily. My favorite ingredient in the salad was, of course, basil. I liked how it bridged all the flavors in the salad together while still allowing the vegetables a chance to show off their true identity.
Color and Texture: Bright and colorful are just a few words to describe this salad. Its stunning presentation allows you to appreciate all of its shapes and colors: cubes of red and orange peppers, rings of purple onions, and pieces of green cucumber and basil. This lively display combined with the texture from toasted cubes of bread and crisp vegetables contrasts well against the soft tomatoes.
Timing: This salad is easy to make. Cutting and chopping the vegetables takes a little bit of time, but not too much.
The dressing is also a cinch to make. Just put the ingredients in a bowl, whisk them together, and you’re done.
Other Comments: I used some homemade French bread in this salad. First, I cut it up into hearty cubes, sautéed them in a large skillet coated with olive oil, and let them cook until they were evenly toasted. This took about 10 minutes as the recipe suggested. This plain-tasting but sturdy bread really stood up well in this salad: it helped mop and soak up the flavors from the vegetables and dressing without becoming too soggy.
Side note: Even though French bread is commonly used in bread salads, I think that olive bread would work equally well. After all, olives are indigenous to the Mediterranean region, and would, therefore, complement all of the ingredients used in this recipe. You could even add hot peppers, anchovies, and cubes of meat and cheese like ham and mozzarella for variety.
Originally published March 27, 2001
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Greek Panzanella + A Surprise Announcement
Ina Garten is acquiring somewhat of a reputation for panzanella recipes. Rest assured, a good one. I mean, she’s got the original Panzanella from Parties!, a grilled version that I watched her make recently that looks like it’s right up my alley, and this Greek version. Oh this Greek version. The one I’m still dreaming about.
Admittedly, I’ve become obsessed with feta cheese in the past few months and I’ve been enjoying it in everything from salads, to roasted veggies, to pizza toppings. So Ina’s Greek version of panzanella seemed natural exciting mouthwatering to me while I was working out the second Barefoot Bloggers recipe for this month. And as usual, Ina didn’t let me down. The panzanella base is the same as the original version but the addition of feta and a delightfully tangy vinaigrette are what really make this dish. And the toasted bread. Good lord, don’t forget about the toasted bread! It took all my strength to hold myself to just one serving of this but the good thing is, it’s so easy to make that it will be reappearing on my menu soon enough.
And now for the surprise announcement!
Ina Garten’s cookbook publicist contacted me earlier this month to tell me that Ina would like for me to do a Q&A session with her in preparation of the release of her new cookbook Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?which is set to be released on October 26th. How COOL is that. My cooking idol! The date is set for August 18th (which is an awesome early birthday gift for me since my bday is the 19th!) but I don’t have any more details right now other than the date. I of course, will share them once they are finalized.
In the time leading up to this special event, I want to hear from you. I want to know what you’d ask Ina if you had the chance. But hold your questions for now. I’ll be posting weekly starting next week with new recipes from How Easy is That? (since I’ve got an advanced copy in my hot little hands) to share with you and will ask you for your questions in those posts.
So, to make sure you don’t miss these upcoming posts, you may want to connect with me via the new buttons I’ve added in the sidebar: Twitter, Smells Like Home’s Facebook page, and RSS feed. Just sayin’…
Grilled Cheese Curd Panzanella
Kyle recently went on a road trip to Vermont where he brought home a tub of fresh cheese curds. The entire way home the scrumptious curds were practically burning a hole in his pocket – a recipe search was brewing. His cooking instincts were slowly leaning towards poutine – oh, how there are so many poutine options, Breakfast Tater Tot Poutine, Vegetarian Poutine Baked Potatoes, and the list goes on. But, alas, those dishes are a bit too heavy for early summer fare.
While exploring for a lighter-ish dish that would easily incorporate those ever so delightful and squeaky cheese curds, he came across a recipe for Grilled Cheese Curd Panzanella from Serious Eats. It appeared to fit the criteria Kyle was searching for to satisfy his curd-licious cravings. The recipe is made with stale bread and tomatoes – with possible additions of other great summer ingredients, like cucumbers and basil. This Italian salad encapsulates summer in a bowl.
Serious Eats sears the cheese curds on one side to get them crispy and melty while preserving the squeakiness of the raw curds, then tosses them into the panzanella. Once Kyle came out of his cheese curd trance, wiped the drool off the keyboard, he was off to make this cheesy tomato salad.
Purists might argue against toasting the bread or incorporating other ingredients, such as cucumber, into the salad, but the addition of the cheese curds to an Italian classic throws all adherence to tradition out the window, so why not go for it? While Kyle took the grilled cheese curd recipe from Serious Eats, he used Ina Garten’s Panzanella recipe for the dressing of the salad.
Ina’s recipe also called for bell peppers, red onions and capers for her Panzanella – which might be quite delicious, but, those ingredients were not incorporated into Kyle’s recipe. Maybe those additions will be good for another time, this time, the recipe was simple, with a touch of indulgence.
However, the versatility of this recipe is endless. If you wish to add any variety of great summer vegetables to this salad it would still prove to have delicious results. Experimentation is key to having fun with creating and cooking in the kitchen, use what you love!!
If you have difficulty finding cheese curds at your market, try some torn fresh mozzarella. It would be a great substitute, however, we do not recommend grilling it, it wouldn’t get crispy and squeaky like the cheese curds.
Whatever you decide as your chosen ingredients for this summer salad, it will be a delicious addition to any meal! Whether you are eating inside or outside, it will compliment a variety of entrees. Happy cheese curd-ing!!
Grilled Panzanella Salad
Panzanella salad is one of my favorite summer salads. You can make this any time of the year with bread that has been toasted in the oven, but when it's summer and you can grill the bread it adds flavor and grill marks for added beauty points. The great thing about this salad is that it can sit for longer than most salads - it just gets better as the bread absorbs the vinaigrette.
Bread for Panzanella Salad
The first step in making this grilled panzanella salad is, of course, to grill the bread. I like a hearty Italian loaf for this salad, but you could use baguette or levain bread too. You could even use your own No Knead Bread if you happen to have some leftover (I know… what am I thinking!). Be sure to brush the bread liberally with olive oil before grilling it on an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan. You want the bread to get nice and toasty, but still have some moisture inside. It’s also a great opportunity for you to practice your grill marks (bread is much cheaper than steak!).
Tearing the bread is much easier if the bread is still warm, so take advantage of that but don’t burn your fingers. You can do this step ahead of time and have it ready to toss with the vegetables before serving.
Vegetables in Panzanella Salad
The vegetables can really be whatever you’d like them to be, but tomatoes are a must. Use the ripest, juiciest tomatoes you can find. Their moisture will get absorbed by the bread. I prefer English cucumber, but you can use a regular cucumber – just scoop the seeds out before slicing it into chunks. If you don’t like the bright prominent flavor of red onions, try soaking the sliced onions in some water for about 20 minutes before draining, drying and then adding to the salad. That will tame their flavor a little.
Once all the ingredients are tossed together, just give the salad a few minutes to let the ingredients get to know each other. This will allow the crispy grilled bread to absorb some of the flavors of the dressing and soften just a little. You still want there to be some crunch to the salad, but no need for anyone to have a hard time eating this!
What to Serve with Panzanella Salad
Grilled Panzanella Salad can be the main meal at an outdoor (or indoor) summer gathering OR it can be a side dish. You really can serve it with just about anything, but it goes nicely with Marinated Chicken Breasts, some BBQ Ribs, a nice juicy Grilled Ribeye Steak or even Pan Roasted Salmon. It’s incredibly satisfying and oh-so-tasty. It’s a nice change from your regular salad greens, that’s for sure!
What You’ll Need To Make Panzanella Salad
There are endless versions of panzanella but they all start with good, hearty Italian bread and tomatoes. This version, inspired by a recipe in Barefoot Contessa Parties!, also includes bell peppers, cucumbers, capers, and lots of fresh basil. Instead of the more typical red onions, I use shallots, which have a milder flavor.
Grilled Panzanella Salad
Ingredients US Metric
- 2 pounds assorted heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1-inch (25-mm) chunks (about 8 cups)
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 8 or more basil leaves, cut into thin strips (or chiffonade if you want to sound fancy)
- 1 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 ounces crusty, rustic-style bread, cut into slices 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
- 4 to 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into small chunks
- Red wine vinegar (optional)
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, basil, olive oil, and salt, and season with a few turns of freshly ground black pepper. Let sit at room temperature until the juices from the tomatoes release and create a kind of dressing, about 30 minutes. (We know. You’re in a rush. But trust us when we tell you waiting a half hour makes quite a difference in terms of allowing the flavors to meld.)
Lightly brush both sides of each slice of bread with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt. Grill the bread, turning once, until slightly toasted and golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes per side. Remove the bread from the heat and rub the toasted bread all over with the cut side of the garlic.
Cut the grilled bread into 1/2-inch chunks. You can set the grilled bread aside at room temperature for a while if you’re not eating right away.
When ready to serve, toss the tomato mixture with the mozzarella and grilled bread and divide the panzanella among 4 plates. Taste and adjust the amounts of oil, salt, or pepper accordingly and, if desired, dribble with vinegar and toss again. Serve at once so the bread doesn’t turn soggy. Originally published August 3, 2015.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This panzanella recipe was one of the most flavorful and fragrant summer recipes I've ever made. The method was so easy and the ingredients easy to come by and cheap, yet this recipe was absolutely fantastic and so much more than the sum of its parts.
I combined the tomato, onion, basil, oil, and salt, added black pepper that I crushed in a mortar and pestle, and let everything sit for 25 minutes at room temperature. It's very fragrant both at this stage and when storing, so any tomato-haters in the vicinity, be warned. Meanwhile, I preheated the grill to medium and brushed each slice of bread with olive oil. I discarded the heels of the bread and used only slices from the middle portions of the loaf. I grilled the bread for about 4 minutes on each side, but the last few pieces took only about 3 minutes. I rubbed the bread on each side with the garlic—this was easiest on the pieces of bread that got a little more charred towards the end of the grilling. I cut the bread into about 1/2-inch chunks and tossed it with the tomato mixture.
At first I was worried about the bread cubes being too large, but after they sat with the tomatoes and soaked up some of the juices, the larger chunks were actually better because they soaked up a lot of juice yet managed to stay crisp. The garlic bread cubes were the real highlight—so tasty and flavorful but not overpowering.
This panzanella recipe was the perfect way to celebrate the first day of summer. Even with regular grocery-store tomatoes, it was delicious, so I imagine that homegrown or heirloom tomatoes would take the dish to another level. It took about 30 minutes to pull together at a very relaxed pace—you could definitely multitask and get another element of the meal done at the same time if you're not serving this on its own. Having said that, I think this would work best on its own, as the portions were large—perhaps as an alfresco lunch?
When I make this again, I might add more basil, but my fellow tester thought it was perfectly balanced as is. My only word of warning is that the garlic bread is powerful— in other words, make sure everyone at the party has a serving of this.
To me, this panzanella recipe is summer perfection in a bowl. As with anything so simple, the quality of the dish is entirely dependent on the quality of your tomatoes and cheese. There were no heirloom tomatoes available at my market, but there was a wonderful selection of local yellow and orange tomatoes, as well as some multicolored cocktail and cherry tomatoes. I used an assortment of these and the best-quality fresh mozzarella available. Together the tomatoes and soft cheese contrasted wonderfully with the toasted bread.
You do need to watch the bread closely on the grill—15 seconds was all the difference between toasted and burned. We ate this along with some chicken drumsticks, and as a side dish, there was way too much for 4 people. This salad would serve 4 as a main dish and serve 6 as a side. I let the tomatoes sit for 20 minutes, which seemed adequate. I cut the bread into 1/2-inch pieces as indicated in the recipe, but next time, I think I'll just tear it into bigger chunks, maybe 1-inch pieces. I think the bread would stand up a little longer to all the juices that way.
This recipe makes a huge and refreshing panzanella salad. I think with a little tweaking, it will be in heavy rotation during the lazy hot days of summer.
We did run into a couple minor setbacks. 8 cups tomatoes is A LOT of tomatoes. And the only fresh mozzarella I could find on the day I went shopping was pre-sliced. As someone in my house is sensitive to wheat, I made the base salad and grilled 2 types of bread: gluten-free and ciabatta. Both types of bread worked well on the grill.
This is a salad that you should toss at the table, as the bread becomes soggy quite quickly, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I don't think leftovers would be any good. We also felt the salad could use more onion, pepper, basil, and salt. The mozzarella didn't stand up well to the tossing, but that was because of the kind of cheese I got. Next time, I’ll go with bocconcini, as we love it in salads, and it's a cheese that's readily available here. (You also wouldn't have to cut the cheese, which is a bonus.) Making this gluten-free wasn’t difficult, as all I had to do was use a gluten-free bread and toss it separately with the salad. Once the aforementioned tweaks are incorporated, I think this recipe will be spectacular.
The salad took about 15 minutes hands-on time and 20 minutes waiting time. This recipe made 6 rather generous dinner-size portions.
This was a nice take on panzanella. I make panzanella quite a lot in the summertime when tomatoes are at their peak. As good as this was, I'm sure that it would've been even better if heirlooms were in season right now. Be that as it may, this was actually a good use for tomatoes that weren't quite there yet.
My tomato mixture sat in the bowl for about 30 minutes before I got to grilling the bread. The flavors melded quite well. I had been concerned that the onion would overpower the tomatoes, but that was not the case. The garlic bread was very tasty indeed. I did make more than the recipe called for, because how can one not make extra garlic bread? I cut some of it into cubes as called for in the recipe. Those I added to the salad along with the mozzarella. The rest of the bread I cut into long pieces for garlic "breadsticks,” which I arranged around the outside of the bowl. It made a very pretty presentation, and the breadsticks were fun to stick into the salad and then bite into. I look forward to being able to make this again when a wide range of heirlooms are available. This salad will be striking with all the colors of the heirloom rainbow.
I've had some excellent panzanella in my day. There's actually a panzanella I had in Boston that I consider my gold standard. Ripe tomatoes, perfectly toasted and crunchy bread, and a delicious but not overpowering dressing. I still think about that salad and smile.
I cut up a nice bunch of ripe heirloom, yellow, and cherry tomatoes. I added my best extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, onion, and basil. After I gave the salad a toss, I let it sit for about 15 minutes. I made the mistake of using a pre-sliced loaf from the grocery store, and even though I tossed it with the tomatoes at the last minute, the bread immediately turned soggy. I'm definitely a crisp crouton lover, so I wasn't happy with the texture of the bread in this salad. But I don't think this is an issue with the recipe. If I'd been able to use thicker slices of bread and grilled them longer, I think the texture would've been a lot better.
This was the best recipe I've tested so far. Since we aren't in prime tomato season in the Northeast, I used a mixture of UglyRipe beefsteak and Campari tomatoes. This worked very well because the 2 different varieties have distinct tastes. I let the tomatoes sit with the other ingredients for 20 minutes. The tomatoes released a lot of liquid, but that wasn't a problem.
I used an 11-ounce ciabatta bread. (I weighed out 6 ounces on my kitchen scale.) The whole recipe came together in 35 minutes, including marinating the tomatoes. I will definitely make this again!
Mix the first 6 ingredients and let the flavors marinate while you prepare the rest of the salad. The result is a bread salad worth savoring. The grilled garlic bread takes this wonderful panzanella recipe to a new level. If you want leftovers, save some of the bread before you toss the salad and store it separately.
This was an easy panzanella recipe that was also incredibly flavorful. While this was like a Caprese salad, having the ingredients cut into smaller pieces made it a little different.
My tasters liked the addition of the chopped red onion as opposed to large pieces of onion. I let the tomato mixture sit for 20 minutes, and the 1/2-inch pieces of bread were big enough to not get overwhelmed by the dressing. My only concern was that this was supposed to make 4 servings. It would definitely serve 4 as a main dish for lunch, but there wasn't enough protein to make it a meal for me. As a side salad, it would serve 8.
While this panzanella recipe defeats the purpose of making use of stale bread, grilling the bread really does create a superior taste. It was sort of a combination of how I learned to make bruschetta and panzanella while living in Italy. While I found the proportions to be a little off, you can successfully mix and match quantities as well as easily add ingredients (olives, peppers, maybe some vinegar).
But make sure everything you're using is high quality. I’d recommend dumping out some of the juice released by the tomatoes if there's a lot to avoid a soggy salad. I'd also suggest searing that bread with abandon. I used 2 pounds or about 5 cups uncut Campari tomatoes (no heirlooms available), which was plenty. I used a bit more than 1 tablespoon oil.
The grilled garlic bread adds nice texture and flavor to the salad. The recipe takes about 20 minutes of hands-on time plus about 20 minutes for the flavors to marinate at room temperature. I think this recipe has some flexibility in terms of adjusting the ratio of ingredients based on personal preference, i.e. I would've liked a little less bread and a bit more tomatoes and basil. And if the salad appears dry after all of the ingredients are combined, feel free to add a little extra olive oil. I also would've preferred to salt the tomatoes rather than the bread. Salt really brings out the flavor of tomatoes. The bread already has salt, so it's not really necessary. Salting both might make the dish too salty, but the tomatoes seemed a little bland without being salted.
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August in Chicago, tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella, and a roasted-garlic-studded sourdough from the farmers market, and here is this perfect lunchtime main or dinnertime side. I must have been feeling big today and I took some indulgent liberties – my version was filled with larger, more, and heavier! My chunks of everything – tomato, mozzarella, and bread were larger. I definitely took the, “or more,” to heart with the basil, and I just might have gone a wee bit heavier on the cheese! Red wine vinegar was offered as an option I passed initially, and then drizzled it on about halfway through. (I’ll also admit to – and highly recommend — indulging in another generous 1/2” slice of bread and using it to mop up any and all leftover juices on the plate.)
I like the way you’re thinking, Elsa! When it comes to this combination of ingredients, more is definitely better! Thanks so much for sharing this with us.
Panzanella is one of the joys of summer. And yours is so attractive. I agree that mozzarella is an excellent addition.
I put in thinly sliced fennel and pieces of colorful bell peppers as well. Seeded cucumber if I’m in the mood for it too. Other times it’s Niçoise olives.
But I must say that, as pretty as yours is, I let mine soak up all the tomato juices over the course of a few hours before serving it. I know I give up something in the way of appearance and texture but I’ll trade that for the flavor of fresh summer tomatoes in every bite.
Thanks, rainey. And I agree, sometimes having a wetter panzanella, with all the juices absorbed by the bread, is pretty much the definition of fresh summer!
I had never heard of panzanella before, but I love each and every one of the ingredients in this recipe so trying it was a no-brainer. I adored it, as did my partner! Can’t wait to try it again in the summer, when the tomatoes will be even more delicious.
I can’t wait for those summer tomatoes, Vera!
This is a very tasty version of a salad that is summer staple for me. I have some olive oil that I have infused with garlic which I used to make the toast. I do like to salt the tomato mixture and sometimes add a little red wine or balsamic vinegar. I have only recently found this site and I do love it. Tonight’s dinner with friends includes the panzanella and peach cobbler recipes found here. Hard for me to actually cook a summer peach (sort of like gilding the lily) but am looking forward to serving this to my friends. Thanks again!
Debbie, you’re very welcome. We’re glad that you found us! And many, many thanks for your kind words. Your take on panzanella sounds lovely, and yes, the peach cobbler definitely gilds the lily with gobs of sugar. Like you, I prefer food in its natural state as opposed to all dolled up, although this recipe is something I consider an occasional and worthwhile splurge. Looking forward to hearing what you think of it and learning which recipes you try in the future.
Reading the comments about this salad makes me smile. People! This is a toss together salad of left over bread which originated in Tuscany. Their bread is not salted so you salt the tomatoes and the salad. If you make it with garlic toast or salted bread or any dry bread it doesn’t matter. It also does not matter if you vary the quantity of the ingredients. Just channel an Italian cook putting together a salad with fresh garden tomatoes, basil, some onion, garlic, good olive oil, salt and pepper and maybe a splash of balsamic wouldn’t hurt. Let it sit a while and you end up with a salad worthy of the finest truely authentic Italian restaurant. I just made some with yellow cherry tomatoes, sweet 100 cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes, garden grown basil and garlic and chives. The bread was challah, sliced, buttered, toasted and rubbed with fresh garlic then diced, What could be simpler. What could be better?