Panzanella, like many dishes born out of necessity, is greater than the sum of its parts.
This Italian bread salad was originally a peasant dish created as a way to use up stale bread. Now, it has become a global favorite – and while it’s still a great way to use up stale bread, you can also just use croutons.
Ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and an herb vinaigrette are the keys to this fresh tasting Italian classic. With loads of bread (or croutons) added to the mix, it’s kind of reminiscent of a caprese salad sandwich. But it somehow feels healthier.
- 1 lb ripe tomatoes (cherry, cut in half; or heirloom, cubed)
- 1 lb Persian cucumbers, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup red onions, sliced (soaked in sherry vinegar for 15 minutes)
- 1 cup red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 Extra large handful of fresh basil, ripped by hand
- 1/2 cup herb vinaigrette
- 2 cups toasted croutons
- 1 Toss all the vegetables and mozzarella in a large mixing bowl, salt generously.
- 2 Top with the ripped basil and the croutons. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently.
- 3 Let it marinate for at least half an hour, then toss again gently and serve.