AKA Salad with CHUNKS OF FRIED BREAD! The best salads often have carbs, and this one is KING! Of course, you can use pre-made croutons (which would also be delicious) but if you have some slightly stale bread leftover this is a great way to put it to good use.
Panzanella is a salad made with toasted cubes of bread, juicy ripe tomatoes, fresh veggies and dressing all tossed together 20-30 minutes before serving. The bread cubes will soak up some of the juices and get nice and soft on the outside while staying firm to the bite on the inside. If you want to make this salad a few hours in advance you totally can, just hold off on adding the bread cubes until shortly before serving.
I also add cheese to this Panzanella Salad, why? Because cheese. And also because it will make it more of a meal on it’s own.
Panzanella SaladPrint Recipe
- 1/2 Baguette Loaf (or other crusty leftover bread*), cut into small cubes
- 2-4 tbsp Olive Oil
- 4-6 Ripe Tomatoes, cut into small wedges
- 4 Persian Cucumbers (or 2 larger cucumbers), peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 Small Red Onion, sliced this into semi-circles
- 6 oz Mozzarella Cheese, torn or cut into pieces
- Chimichurri Dressing (recipe under Dressings & Sauces) OR alternative dressing of your choice*
Heat 2-3 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat, add bread cubes and cook until browned on one side and toasty. Add more oil if needed. About 10 minutes.
Toss Tomatoes, Cucumber, Red Onion and Cheese in a large salad bowl with dressing.
Add toasted Bread Cubes to salad 20-30 minutes before serving, tossing to fully combine.
*Alternative Breads: Crusty, artisanal style breads such as Ciabatta, French or Italian. Brioche or other soft, sweet breads would not work. *Alternative Dressings: While I LOVE this Chimichurri over Panzanella Salad, I don't always have fresh parsley lying around to make a batch. You probably don't either I'm guessing (*wink*). The best dressing options are going to be any vinaigrette style (such as Italian) or simply oil, vinegar, salt & pepper to taste. A creamy style dressing (such as French or Ranch) would not be recommended.