Are you looking for an easy summer salad recipe? This traditional Panzanella (Tuscan Tomato and Bread Salad) will not disappoint! A quintessential Italian dish – so simple, quick to prepare, and absolutely delicious!
So, what is panzanella?
It’s a summer salad that originated from the Italian region of Tuscany.
Panzanella’s main ingredients are tomatoes and bread, and the dressing is made of olive oil and vinegar — notice that they’re just a handful of ingredients, so the quality of each component matters a lot.
This Tuscan tomato and bread salad is excellent as an appetizer or a side dish for grilled meat or sausages.
Try it! 🙂
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- Bread – old bread (at least a day old) is excellent for making panzanella.
- Tomatoes – the juiciest, freshest tomatoes you can find.
- Onion – red onion and sliced thinly.
- Olive oil – extra virgin olive oil is needed to prepare this panzanella recipe.
- Vinegar – red wine vinegar.
- Basil – you need at least a handful of fresh basil leaves.
- Salt & pepper – just use your favorite brand for seasoning.
Start making panzanella by chopping the bread and the onion.
Remove the tomatoes’ core and seeds before chopping.
Place the chopped ingredients in a bowl.
Tear the fresh basil leaves with your hands and add them as well.
Pour some olive oil and vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.
Combine all the panzanella ingredients evenly.
Taste and add more oil or vinegar; adjust the seasoning as well.
Set aside for ten to fifteen minutes for all the flavors to combine.
Transfer your panzanella into plates and serve!
- Remove the crust of the old bread if they’re too hard.
They will never soften even when mixed with the panzanella dressing of oil and vinegar — they will just become chewy.
- Make sure you do not add the oil and vinegar all at once.
Mix with half the amount, then slowly add more while tasting in between to check.
- White wine vinegar. If you don’t have red wine vinegar, you can use white wine vinegar instead — NEVER use balsamic vinegar for panzanella.
- Cherry tomatoes. It might be a challenge removing the core and seeds for making panzanella, but if it’s the best ones you can find, do not hesitate to use them.
- Croutons. While I’ve seen some people use them instead of stale bread, I don’t suggest doing that.
Croutons are generally seasoned, crunchy bits of bread. They do indeed provide more texture variety for panzanella, but they are less absorbent than old bread.
You will taste more of the flavor and seasoning of the croutons when you bite into them instead of the panzanella dressing.
So how about it? Try serving this delicious panzanella recipe this weekend — an excellent way to start any meal!
OR YOU CAN GET MORE IDEAS FROM THIS LIST OF APPETIZERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD!
Traditional Panzanella Recipe (Tuscan Bread Salad)
- 1 to 1 & 1/2 cups stale bread, cut into small cubes; about 3 to 4 slices (1/3-inch thick)
- 1 & 1/4 to 1 & 1/2 cups tomatoes (about 3 medium-sized) cored, seeded and chopped
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 2 to 3 teaspoons olive oil
- handful fresh basil leaves
- salt and pepper, to season
- Chop the bread and onion, and remove the core and seeds of the tomatoes before chopping them as well.
- Place them all in a bowl.
- Use your hands to tear the fresh basil leaves and add them to the bowl.
- Pour some olive oil and vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.
- Combine all the panzanella ingredients evenly.
- Taste and add more oil or vinegar; adjust the seasoning as well.
- Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes for all the flavors to combine.
- Transfer your panzanella into serving plates and enjoy!
- Cook’s Tip: When preparing all your panzanella ingredients, remember to remove the crust of the stale bread if they’re too hard.