It eludes me as to why I have never, before this summer, made or eaten Panzanella. It has all of my favorite things in one refreshing summer dish.
I have heard of Panzanella on a few cooking shows during the past few years, but for some reason I just had never made it. However, when the tomatoes started to take off I needed to find recipes that utilized the delicious fresh tomatoes.
That’s when I decided I would make Panzanella. It is a salad made of fresh tomatoes, herbs, a vinaigrette, mozzarella, and Italian bread. What is not to love? Bread, cheese, tomatoes, and herbs mixed together and called a salad? A.Ma.Zing.
I was skeptical that the family would like it, but that didn’t stop my from making it. Unfortunately, D3 can’t eat it because of her orthodontia. The grilled / toasted bread was too hard. Fortunately, everyone else liked it.
In fact, it was so delicious I have made it several times, and plan on making this a summer tradition when tomato season peaks!
Have you ever eaten Panzanella? If not, what is stopping you?
- 1 loaf Italian bread (bite size cubes (about 4 cups))
- 4 tablespoons olive oil (+1 for grilling)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 pounds ripe tomatoes (mixed variety)
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella (in bite size chunks)
- ¼ – ½ cup red onion (petite diced)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (1 teaspoon dried, chopped)
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves (sliced or torn)
- ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon capers (drained (optional))
- Preheat a grill or oven to 425 degrees.
- Lightly oil the bread before roasting or grilling. Toast bread cubes on sheet pan (or uncut on a grill grate) until dry and golden, about 10 minutes. Remove and cool.
- Cut tomatoes into bite size pieces. Place in a large bowl. Add mozzarella, onions, garlic, oregano, basil, parsley, salt, and pepper. Toss.
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and mustard. Whisk in olive oil slowly, whisking constantly until fully combined. If desired, add capers.
Add bread cubes to the tomato mixture and toss gently. Drizzle vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat thoroughly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.