What Is Panzanella?
Panzanella or panmolle is an Italian salad originated from Tuscany. Its main ingredients include Tuscan/Italian bread, overripe tomatoes and onions. The first panzanella consisted of onion, toast, green vegetables, vinegar and olive oil. Later on people started adding and altering the vegetables and with time a large diversity of panzanella salad was introduced.
It is a summer dish but you can make it in all seasons by adding more seasonal vegetables as well. A traditional panzanella salad is made with a few days old stale Tuscan bread. The bread is soaked in cold water, squeezed and mixed with tomatoes and other vegetables. Panzanella is a perfect appetizer to start your meal with. You can make it more fancy and cheesy by adding any type of meat and cheese as per your liking.
What is the Best Bread for Panzanella?
Panzanella is all about utilizing old bread and giving it a new life. It comes from the old times when farmers used to consume old bread by soaking it in water to make it chewy and adding it to readily available vegetables. The main focus in this recipe or you can say the main ingredient after tomato is bread.
You can use fresh bread in your recipe but believe us when we say stale bread or dehydrated bread is the essential element of a panzanella salad. The reason behind it is that fresh bread has moisture and when we leave it as it is for some time; this moisture is dried out leaving behind crispy, dehydrated bread which is perfect to be toasted and used in your salad. You can grill, pan toast or bake your bread to give it a golden crisp. Sourdough bread, Italian bread, ciabatta or baguette are most likely to be used in panzanella salad.
What to Serve with Panzanella Salad?
Panzanella salad is best served with any grilled meat such as steak or salmon, you can also serve it with whole roasted chicken or turkey for a party dinner. Panzanella with grilled vegetables or roasted potatoes make a good meal. It is a side course that is loved by all – vegetarian or non-vegetarian. This salad is super easy, loved by everyone and with everything.
This side meal goes fine with a meaty or not so meaty main course. Panzanella is served in deep bowls for better handling or else you will end up trying to catch your ingredients from the plate. Another question that comes in our minds is what should we drink with panzanella salad? A cold subtle drink is more than good enough to be served, white wine maybe.
Here are our delicious recipes that you can serve with Panzanella Salad: