Panzanella is a Summer Bread and Tomato Salad originating in Tuscany. And if Tuscany had a taste this would probably be it! Full of sparkling fresh flavors, this salad is main dish worthy.
There are many different versions and add-in to Panzanella, and I have my own version too! When the tomatoes and basil are overtaking the garden it is time to make Panzanella!
1 loaf of dense bread~ tonight I used a Rosemary Tuscan Bread
herbs de Provence
2 boxes of assorted tomatoes~ my favorite for this salad are red grape and yellow pear tomatoes
1/2 cucumber, quartered lengthwise and chopped
1/3 cup fresh basil, cut into chiffonades
3 TBS fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 red onion, sliced paper thin
2 cloves garlic, pressed
white balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut dense bread into big croutons, about 1 1/2 inch square. Put on a rimmed baking sheet, single layer and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic salt and herbs de Provence and toss. Bake for 20-30 minutes until dry, hard and slightly golden. Remove from oven and cool.
Cut tomatoes in half and add to a large bowl.
Cut fresh basil and parsley and add to bowl. Cut cukes and onion and add to bowl. Add garlic. Toss. Salt and pepper and toss.
Drizzle with 1/4 cup good olive oil and a splash of white balsamic vinegar and toss. Add croutons and toss.
Other traditional add -in are:
bread and not croutons~ but this tends to get soggy and I don't like soggy texture.
I keep StoneGable Panzanella pretty basic. I love the the fresh taste of tomatoes, basil with a good olive oil! And the crunch and flavor of homemade croutons puts this dish over the top!
Panzanella is a great main course for a hot summer night!