Featured salads

Summer Panzanella Salad

July 29, 2020

The perfect tomato + summer panzanella salad recipe using leftover bread and fresh summer produce for a refreshing appetizer or entree.

Fun fact! I used to speak 4 languages. “Used to” are the key words here. In high school I decided I wanted to be a UN interpreter when I grew up but I couldn’t decide which language. All through high school I took Italian, French and German. These days all that is left is French (thank you French immersion!) but sadly I remember very little Italian and German.

Part of the reason I loved learning languages was because of my Italian/French teacher. She taught both and throughout high school she was my teacher 6 times (4 years of Italian and 2 years of French). One of the reasons I loved her was because she incorporated less traditional methods of teaching, namely, food. We learned a lot through cooking and trying out traditional Italian and French cuisines. A lot of my love of food came from those classes and it’s something I carry with me today.

I’ll never forget my first few bites of panzanella. It was the freshest salad I had ever tasted AND it had bread…IN A SALAD! I knew Italians were absolute geniuses in that moment. So you can all thank Signora Costa for this delicious summer panzanella recipe!

 

What is Panzanella?

Panzanella is a traditional Tuscan salad that fuses fresh local vegetables with soaked stale bread, onions and tomatoes. The ingredients can vary based on region and what’s seasonally available but generally it will always include tomatoes and often basil in a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing.

Ideally you include stale bread that is rehydrated through the juices from the tomatoes, olive oil and vinegar.

What is in this Summer Panzanella?

  • Ciabatta or sourdough bread
  • Cherry tomatoes (I like using colorful heirloom varieties)
  • Zucchinis
  • Peaches
  • Scallions
  • Mozarella
  • Basil
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Salt + pepper

How to Make This Summer Panzanella

Traditionally panzanella is made using stale ciabatta or sourdough bread. If your bread is very stale you can use as is but I find that a quick bake in the oven gives it a nice crunch and toasted flavor that adds some depth to this summer panzanella.

STEP 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread bread cubes onto a baking sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes or until lightly browned.

STEP 2: Heat up grill over medium/high heat. Brush zucchinis with olive oil and place directly onto the grill. Cook 3 minutes per side or until slightly charred. Option to bake in the oven for 10- 15 minutes or cook on stove-top. Chop into bite-sized pieces after grilling.

STEP 3: Combine all remaining vegetables, peaches, grilled zucchini and mozzarella in a large bowl. Top with bread cubes.

STEP 4: In a small bowl or jar whisk together olive oil and red wine vinegar. Pour over salad making sure to fully coat bread. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Easy Swaps to Make

  • You can easily swap in whatever veggies you prefer. I recommend sticking with the tomatoes since they’re the base of the recipe but otherwise feel free to make changes to what you have on hand!
  • If you’re up for it, throw your peach slices on the grill for an extra depth of flavor
  • Gluten-free? You can use whatever gluten-free bread you have on hand.
  • Swap or add in mint for basil for a super fresh flavor.
  • I like using heirloom cherry tomatoes for a burst of color but use what you can find – regular tomatoes work too!
Print

Summer Panzanella Salad

The perfect tomato + summer panzanella salad recipe using leftover bread and fresh summer produce for a refreshing appetizer or entree.

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 slices of ciabatta or sourdough bread (day old preferred), cut into cubes
  • 1 dry pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 large zucchinis, halved lengthwise
  • 2 peaches, sliced
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 6 oz mozzarella, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt + pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spread bread cubes onto a baking sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. Heat up grill over medium/high heat. Brush zucchinis with olive oil and place directly onto the grill.
  4. Cook 3 minutes per side or until slightly charred. Option to bake in the oven for 10- 15 minutes or cook on stove-top. Chop into bite-sized pieces after grilling.
  5. Combine all remaining vegetables, peaches, chopped zucchini and mozzarella in a large bowl. Top with bread cubes.
  6. In a small bowl or jar whisk together olive oil and red wine vinegar. Pour over salad making sure to fully coat bread.
  7. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Like this panzanella salad recipe? Here are a few others you might enjoy:

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  • Reply
    PAT
    August 22, 2020 at 11:45 am

    SORRY I TOOK SO LONG TO REPLY
    I JUST GOT AROUND TO MAKING
    RECIPE. THANK YOU AGAIN. PAT

  • Reply
    PAT
    July 30, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    WILL MAKE THIS WEEKEND.
    THANK YOU FOR ANOTHER
    GREAT RECIPE. PAT.

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