This easy Panzanella salad recipe is not only delicious but also a great way to use up stale sourdough bread. Packed with olives, capers, ripe tomatoes and basil, it’s the perfect rustic Italian dish to serve on warm summer days.
Before we talk about this GREAT Panzanella salad recipe, I wanted to address something I had asked you on my Facebook page : Namely when you’d wish to start seeing Fall recipes on NEC. Some of you said ‘right now!’ and some others said September. Oh, and one lucky lady said October because…she lives in Hawaii!
As far as I’m concerned, I think that we usually start talking about the next season or holiday way too soon (like starting all the Christmas things in November…) and it kind of ruins the season we’re in.
So I opted for a middle ground and here’s the plan: for the next coming days, I’ll keep posting summer recipes and when September rings in, we’ll slowly but surely transition to more stews, soups, baked dishes and Fall flavors, mmkay? But for now, summer recipes it is!
Panzanella salad is definitely a celebration of summer. Originally from central Italy – Tuscany to be precise – Panzanella is a bread salad made with tomatoes, onions, olives and basil.
Some also add anchovies, bell peppers or cucumbers. Traditional Italian Panzanella salad is very easy to put together and perfect for those sunny summer days.
It is made with stale sourdough bread, as a way to avoid wasting any food. Once soaked with olive oil and the juices from tomatoes, the bread became soft and edible again.
In this Panzanella salad recipe, I’m not using stale bread but thick toasted slices of sourdough rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil. It reminds me of bruschette and I just love it.
Ideally, once your Panzanella salad is ready, let it rest for thirty minutes at room temperature to let the flavors develop but leave out the bread chunks. You’ll add them only at the last moment to keep their crispy texture. Buon appetito!
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Easy Panzanella Salad
This easy Panzanella salad recipe is not only delicious but also a great way to use up stale sourdough bread. Packed with olives, capers, ripe tomatoes and basil, it's the perfect rustic Italian dish to serve on warm summer days.
- 6 tomatoes ripe, cored and quartered *
- 8 kalamata olives pitted
- 2 tbsp red onions finely sliced
- 1/2 tbsp small capers drained
- 6-8 large fresh basil leaves finely minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 thick slices of sourdough bread
- 1 garlic clove cut in half
- 1 tsp olive oil divided
Combine tomatoes, olives, onion, capers, basil and salt in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss.
Grill bread until toasted and golden (you can either use a grill, the oven or a toaster). Rub half of a garlic clove on each slice and drizzle them with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil (each). Cut into large chunks.
Let the salad rest for 30 minutes, outside the fridge, to let the flavors develop. When ready to eat, add bread chunks, toss and serve.
* It important to use very good quality, fresh and ripe tomatoes because it's the main ingredient.