Panzanella Salad

Panzanella Salad

Anita Schecter

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
277 Calories
18g Fat
26g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 277
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 343mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 143mg 715%
Calcium 79mg 6%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 392mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Panzanella is a Tuscan bread salad that includes seasoned cubes of toasted bread, tossed in an olive oil vinaigrette dressing along with an assortment of raw vegetables. The idea is similar to the Middle Eastern fattoush salad which includes toasted pita bread.

The original panzanella salad, thought to date back to the 16th century, called for onions and bread in dressing. Modern panzanella, however, usually includes tomato instead of onion.

This dish is a great way to use stale bread, since it will soak up the dressing well. If using fresh bread, toast it with olive oil in a skillet or in the oven before tossing it in with the dressing. Other typical ingredients in this style of salad are tomatoes, bell peppers of all colors, cucumbers, red onion, and fresh basil. Fresh cheese such as feta or mozzarella is always a welcome addition too.

Panzanella salads are highly customizable, so feel free to add or subtract according to your tastes. Try adding in some crisp greens such as arugula and capers or olives for a salty bite.

Ingredients

For the Bread Cubes:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 slices Tuscan bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 pinch kosher salt

For the Salad:

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 English seedless cucumber, thinly sliced

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1/4 large red onion, thinly sliced

  • 10 large fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

For the Dressing:

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. To make the bread cubes, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the cubed bread, dried oregano and salt. Cook over medium low heat, stirring often, for about 10 minutes or until the bread is browned. You can also toss the bread in the olive oil and seasonings, spread it out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

  2. To make the dressing, whisk together the minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper until combined.

  3. To assemble the salad, in a large bowl add the tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, red onion, and basil. Add the bread cubes and toss well with the dressing. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired and, ideally, allow the salad to sit for about 30 minutes to an hour so the bread can absorb the flavors.

  4. Optional bread choices can be French or sourdough. Cheese is a common addition, with the best options being crumbled feta or fresh mozzarella.