Rustic Panzanella Salad
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Want to have something light, tasty and satisfying on a hot summer day? Try panzanella. This bread-based Tuscan salad combines crusty, toasted bread cubes, lots of fresh veggies and a white vinegar dressing. The recipe we made is a true panzanella and contains no meat or fish. However, you could add some grilled chicken or albacore tuna if you're so inclined.
This is a great recipe for prepping ahead. Using a 7-3/4" Petite Slicer, cut the bread into cubes and store in a plastic bag. Chop the peppers; slice the cucumber and onion and store each in individual containers or bags in the fridge. Make the dressing and refrigerate. Before serving, toast the bread cubes; chop the tomatoes and fresh basil. Toss everything together in a large bowl and you'll be ready to enjoy this refreshing salad in no time.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small French bread or ciabatta bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1 seedless cucumber, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup mixed pitted olives (suggest Kalamata, green, black, stuffed green)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Whisk ingredients for the dressing together in a small bowl. Can be made ahead and refrigerated until ready to use.
- To begin the salad. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan or skillet. Add the bread cubes and salt and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for 8 – 10 minutes or until nicely browned. Add more oil if needed.
- Mix the salad ingredients in a large bowl, add the toasted bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to sit for about 30 minutes before serving for flavors to blend.