Panzanella Salad, a perfect blend of seasonal vegetables, mozzarella cheese and warm crispy croutons, is a fantastic mix of bread and vegetables. This perfect salad hails from Italy and is one of the best side salads or full dinner meals (just add chicken) that strays from typical salads and creates something wonderful.
Mix together olive oil and minced garlic. Pour over bread cubes.
Spread croutons onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until bread is crispy and crunchy. Set aside to cool.
Whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Set dressing aside.
In a bowl, add tomatoes, onions, basil, capers and cheese in a bowl and mix well.
Stir in croutons.
Drizzle oil and balsamic mixture and mix well to evenly coat.
Let stand for 15 minutes for flavors to mingle.
Stir well before serving.
What type of bread should I use to make Panzanella?You have several options when it comes to picking the right bread for your Panzanella. This recipe calls for Italian Bread, but French Bread, ciabatta, baguettes, and even sourdough breads will all taste amazing in this. You want to choose a bread that has a crispy, crunchy exterior, the heartier the better to withstand getting soggy in the dressing.Expert tips for this salad
For extra flavorful tomatoes (and to avoid that extra wateriness I mentioned previously), after chopping, salt the tomatoes and let them sit for about 15 minutes, then drain any excess moisture. You can either discard the tomato juice or add some of it back into the dressing for extra tomato flavor.
Use only fresh, ripe tomatoes. These are the most important ingredients in the salad, so make sure you are using the best!
Add a bit of Dijon mustard to your vinaigrette. This gives the dressing a little extra kick and is delicious with the tomatoes and veggies.
A heartier style bread will hold up better in this Panzanella Salad than other types of bread.
If you only have fresh bread instead of day-old bread, toast it in the oven for a few minutes more (around 12-15 minutes rather than 8-10). Check bread often to ensure it doesn’t burn.
Add a bit of fresh chopped oregano and pepper to your dressing before tossing. Divine!
You can add all sorts of other ingredients to this Panzanella Salad. A few of my favorites are cucumber, olives, sliced peaches, and corn. You can also add Italian salami or grilled chicken.