This delicious Panzanella Salad is popular in most parts of Italy. It is easy to make, refreshing, healthy and delicious.
What kind of salad is that
This traditional Italian salad is famous around the Tuscany area. I learned it during my travels in Italy. It is made with tomatoes, red onions, basil, oil and stale bread. In some regions of Italy it also contains cucumbers or peppers but they are totally optional.
There are different Panzanella variations and the one I am presenting is served very commonly in Tuscan restaurants.
Why is this recipe good
This salad is so easy to make with just a few simple ingredients and is rich in texture and flavour. Surely one of the best Italian salads to prepare at home. It is refreshing and filling at the same time, as it contains fresh vegetables but also bread.
- The recipe calls for both cherry tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes, but it is also ok to use any tomatoes you have in hand.
- In terms of bread, my recommendation is for sourdough. If you don't have such, you can use almost any leftover bread. Just make sure it is not very soft and fluffy.
- Extra virgin olive oil is the best oil for this recipe, as it also contributes with a wonderful flavour.
- Cucumbers and peppers are not mandatory for this salad. But if you have them and like them, they would bring additional freshness and flavour.
- Naturally this salad is best during the summer, when you can find the tastiest vegetables. Still you can make it all year round, as long as you find all the ingredients.
This is definitely a recipe worth trying as it is very simple and really nice. You can even include your kids in the preparation process!
Below you will find few other refreshing vegetable recipes from around the world:
Italian Panzanella Salad
- 1 large heirloom tomato
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 slices of stale bread see notes
- fresh basil leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- Slice the bread into 1 inch cubes.
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil on a pan and cook the bread inside, to become slightly crispy and golden. Let cool.
- Cut the onion into quarts and slice them thinly.
- Chop the heirloom tomato into bite sized pieces. Halve the cherry tomatoes.
- Combine the vegetables in a salad bowl. Add the rest of the olive oil and salt. Mix well.
- Add the bread and some black pepper and mix again.
- Serve with fresh basil leaves on top.
- The best bread to use is sourdough but any stale artisan bread is fine. Avoid the slices sold in bags as they are too soft.
- You can add to the salad one sliced cucumber or alternatively even 1 sliced green pepper.
- I don’t normally use vinegar in salads with tomatoes but if you like it, you can add some to taste.