Tuscan Style Italian Panzanella Salad

November 12, 2021

Easy and filling salad recipe for hot summer days: Italian Panzanella. This crusty bread salad will be your favourite.

Panzanella is an Italian salad made with bread and tomatoes. It is ideal for those looking for light and fresh flavors, especially in summer. A hearty meal, this breaded salad is easy to make. Try Panzanella for a satisfying and light salad recipe. Enjoy this recipe made with fresh vegetables and herbs. Bon Appetit.

Panzanella SaladPhoto By Canva
Taste Score: %88
Difficulty Easy
Servings 4-6 people
Preparation 35 mins
Cooking 10 mins
Total 45 mins

Tips

  • You can also grill bread slices on a grill pan instead of baking it.
  • Add seasonal vegetables to make panzanella.
  • By changing the dressing, you can have a whole new and different recipe of panzanella.
  • By adding overripe tomatoes, the old stale bread gets rehydrated and the salad tastes more delicious.
  • Soaking the onion slices in cold water before adding in salad will help reduce their harsh “biting” taste.
  • Try using some roasted bell peppers. It will add more crunch to the salad.
  • Use fresh basil leaves for more freshness.
  • To enhance the flavor, add some seasoning or dried herbs.
  • If you do not have stale bread but still want to make panzanella salad you can put your fresh bread in the refrigerator for some time. Bread stales faster in cold temperatures.
  • If you are using fresh bread in your recipe, do not add it with other ingredients; it will turn mushy and your recipe would not taste the same. Add the bread right before serving.
  • To enhance the flavor in tomatoes sprinkle some salt on them and wash it off. Salt draws out water from tomatoes.
  • You can make this recipe ahead of the serving time, the longer it takes the better it tastes.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven at 356 °F. Grease a baking tray with some oil and spread bread slices on it. Bake them in the oven until they are toasted and light golden from the outside. Keep aside the bread slices.
  2. Take a large bowl, add bite size tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, toasted bread slices, ricotta cheese, red onion slices, Kirby cucumbers, basil leaves and crushed garlic. Toss to combine and set aside.
  3. Take another small bowl, add red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, stir well to combine them.
  4. Drizzle prepared salad dressing and olive oil over the salad. Mix all ingredients to coat dressing evenly.
  5. Let it sit for at least half an hour for more enhanced and rich taste. Add more vinegar and olive oil before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Panzanella Salad
Serves 4-6
Amount Per Serving
Calories293
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21 g26.9%
Protein 10 g20%
Cholesterol 28 mg9.3%
Sodium 156 mg6.8%
Potassium 425 mg9%
Potassium 425 mg9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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:

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