Panzanella Salad

panzanella_Salad_Recipe

Panzanella Salad

Mix up your salad repertoire with this authentic Tuscan-style Panzanella Salad! The robust flavors of fresh tomato, red onion, garlic, and basil make a bright and vibrant salad that will become a summer staple.

Pick up Signature Farms Snacking tomatoes on sale at Safeway to make this delicious Panzanella Salad for a meal this week.  As a tomato fan, I was thrilled to find these new snacking tomatoes in multiple colors and tomato varieties!  My favorite is the Maverick mix, which has red, yellow and orange grape tomatoes. 

A Panzanella Salad originated in Tuscany where tomatoes and bread are plentiful.  By combining juicy ripe tomatoes with toasted bread, the homemade croutons become soft, but not mushy from the tomato juices and the vinaigrette.

The key to this salad is salting the tomatoes to draw out the liquid and incorporate the tomato juice into the dressing. 

My favorite part of a tomato salad is scooping up all the luscious juices leftover in the bowl with nice hearty bread. 

Panzanella Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this Panzanella recipe:

Crusty bread

You’ll only need one-half of a loaf, so this really is the perfect use for stale leftover bread. Use ciabatta, sourdough or French bread. You can also use whole grain if you’d like. 

Tomatoes

You can’t make a great Panzanella without great tomatoes. I highly recommend using a combination of red vine tomatoes, grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes to make Panzanella.

Large tomatoes can be so soft and juicy that they completely break down when sprinkled with salt. We want our salad to be a little juicy, but also substantial, so smaller tomatoes are key.

Fresh basil

Basil makes this salad so fresh and green! Don’t skip it.

Red onion

Red onion is standard and offers some crisp, pungent heat. You could also use a shallot if you prefer. 

Olive oil, Dijon mustard & red wine vinegar

We’ll toss the bread in olive oil before baking so it gets extra crisp and golden. Then, we’ll stir together some additional olive oil with the tomato juices, vinegar and Dijon mustard to make a vinaigrette. 

Garlic, salt, pepper

Complete the salad with proper garlicky flavor and seasonings.

Ingredients in Panzanella Salad

  • 2 1/2 pounds mixed ripe tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning (use half as much if using table salt)
  • 1/2 loaf Signature SELECT rustic sourdough bread, cut into 1 1/2–inch cubes (about 4 cups bread cubes)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced 
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves, roughly chopped

panzanella_Salad_ingredients

 

How to make a Panzanella Salad

Place chopped tomatoes in a colander set over your servings bowl and season with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Toss to coat.

Set the tomatoes aside at room temperature to drain, tossing occasionally, while you toast the bread. Drain for a minimum of 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F and adjust the rack to the center position.

On a baking sheet, toss bread cubes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for about 15 minutes, until crisp and firm but not browned. Remove from oven and let cool.

Remove the colander with tomatoes from the bowl with tomato juice.

Place colander with tomatoes on a plate.

Add garlic, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper to the bowl with the tomato juice. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. 

Add the toasted bread, tomatoes, and red onions. Add basil leaves. Toss everything to coat and season with salt and pepper.

Let rest 30 minutes before serving, tossing occasionally until the dressing is absorbed by the bread.

panzanella_Salad

What to Serve with a Panzanella Salad?

This basic salad makes a perfect side for grilled chicken, steak, or salmon.  It’s also great as a lunch with tomato toast, tuna melt or avocado toast. 

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panzanella_Salad_Recipe

Classic Panzanella Salad

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Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: authentic panzanella salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Calories:
Author: Eva Fry

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds mixed ripe tomatoes cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for seasoning (use half as much if using table salt)
  • 1/2 loaf Signature SELECT rustic sourdough bread cut into 1 1/2–inch cubes (about 4 cups bread cubes)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 1/2 small red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves roughly chopped

Instructions

  • Place chopped tomatoes in a colander set over your servings bowl and season with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Toss to coat.
  • Set the tomatoes aside at room temperature to drain, tossing occasionally, while you toast the bread. Drain for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F and adjust the rack to the center position.
  • On a baking sheet, toss bread cubes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for about 15 minutes, until crisp and firm but not browned. Remove from oven and let cool.
  • Remove colander with tomatoes from the bowl with tomato juice.
  • Place colander with tomatoes on a plate.
  • Add garlic, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper to the bowl with the tomato juice. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil.
  • Add the toasted bread, tomatoes, and red onions. Add basil leaves. Toss everything to coat and season with salt and pepper.
  • Let rest 30 minutes before serving, tossing occasionally until the dressing is absorbed by the bread.

panzanella_Salad_CLoseup

 

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