This panzanella salad recipe is the ultimate showcase for late summer and early fall bounty! A tangy dressing perfectly accents fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. Use dried (not stale) bread and salted tomatoes to make the best version of this classic Italian bread salad.
Simple Panzanella Salad
- 1 loaf crusty Sourdough or Italian bread, cut into cubes (half-inch to 1-inch in size)
- 4 cups cherry and/or grape tomatoes halved or quartered.
- 1 English cucumber, halved and sliced
- ½ whole red onion, very thinly sliced
- 25 whole basil leaves
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Parmesan shavings, to taste
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 shallot minced
- ⅓ tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ⅓ cup Extra Virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the cubes on a baking sheet. Toss them with a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until they are just toasted. Set the cubes aside to cool.
2, While the bread is toasting, place the halved tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions in a colander and set it over a large bowl. I usually add in different colors of tomatoes for a pretty presentation. Sprinkle with salt and toss.
3. Whisk the garlic, shallots, dijon, vinegar and pepper. Stream in the ⅓ cup olive oil while whisking until the dressing emulsifies.
4. Place the bread cubes, vegetables, and basil in a bowl. Pour about half of the dressing over top and make sure all the bread cubes are coated. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if desired. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes.
5. Top with shaved parmesan and additional dressing, to taste. Serve at room temperature.