Have you tried Panzanella Salad? It’s a bread salad with delicious fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and other crispy vegetables.
The Dog Days of Summer are a perfect time to enjoy Panzanella Salad. You can make a meal out of this easy salad! If you’re looking for a new way to use up the (over) abundance of of summer tomatoes that are coming on about now, give this delicious salad a try!
What is the best way to store tomatoes? Store them on the kitchen counter away from direct sunlight, stem side down. Do not refrigerate – refrigerated tomatoes are far less flavorful!
Shopping at the Farmer’s Market gives me the opportunity to purchase many different varieties of tomatoes. Each variety of tomato tastes different too! The small cherry tomatoes are sweet like candy. I’ve found the striped tomatoes taste almost peppery. A beef steak tomato has a hearty full flavor. Do you have a favorite?
I found all of the vegetables I needed at the market – even the bread! I purchased a variety of tomatoes, a small purple onion, fresh basil and a cucumber.
The cucumber that is pictured above is an Armenian Cucumber. They taste similar to the more popular varieties you see in the grocery store but the skin is tender like an english cucumber. They are delicious!
The bread pictured is ciabata rolls and actually flavored with jalepnos and cheese.
I wanted to point out some of the ingredients just to say if you don’t have the exact ingredient, sometimes you can make do with what you have on hand! This salad is a great example of that!
The ingredients are easy to prepare, just slicing and chopping! Once you add the vinaigrette it’s best to serve immediately. Though the bread can hold up for some time on it’s own – it doesn’t hold well after 2 hours.
Panzanella Salad is a filling and flavorful salad. It is best served at room temperature. It's great for a buffet table or as a main dish for dinner.
- 1 cucumber seeded and peeled if desired
- 4-5 tomatoes - various sizes, shapes and colors organic and homegrown if possible!
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 1 cup kalamata olives sliced in half
- 1 bunch basil torn or chiffon'd
- 1/2 loaf ciabata bread day old works best
- salt and pepper to taste
- Salad Vinaigrette
You really want the bread to be a bit stale so it holds up under the salad dressing. If you purchase a fresh loaf, cut it into bite sized chunks and toast them in the oven until they are crispy. Simply toss the bread cubes in olive oil, salt & pepper and bake in the oven at 300 degrees until they are crispy; 15-20 minutes, remove and allow to cool. Add to a large bowl.
If desired peel & seed the cucumber. Chop it into bite sized pieces.
Wash the tomatoes well, core and cut them into bite sized pieces also.
Slice the onion and red bell pepper very thinly. Into the bowl they go with the bread.
Drain the olives and slice in half. Add them to the salad bowl.
Remove the basil leaves from the stems. Stack them and roll it tightly and slice into ribbons (you can tear them too, but this looks really pretty!) This is called a Chiffonade. Add the basil to the bowl.
When you have everything prepared and in the bowl, toss it with the dressing. Add just enough dressing to lightly coat the ingredients. Season the salad with salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Take the plunge and make your own homemade dressing! It's not hard to do and with such fresh ingredients it will make it that much better! However, if that's not your thing....I won't tell! Purchase a good store bought vinaigrette, that will be delicious too.
Although you'd think the bread would be soggy, if it's stale or toasted, it can hold it's own.
Panzanella Salad is a filling and flavorful salad. It is best served at room temperature. It’s great for a buffet table or as a main dish for dinner. If you would like to add some meat, Prosciutto is a delicious addition.
Still have some tomatoes? How about making this yummy Tomato Tart?
Another delicious option is an Heirloom Tomato Salad – just as simple using vegetables from your local market.
And last but not least how about a Tomato Avocado Sandwich!
With so many options on the blog to use fresh ingredients, I’m sure you’ll find a recipe you love!