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Easy Panzanella Salad

Panzanella Salad

5 from 11 reviews

Easy Summer Panzanella Salad with toasted Italian bread cubes, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, mozzarella pearls, capers, and fresh basil all tossed in a simple oil and vinegar dressing.

Ingredients

Scale

Salad

  • ¾ lb. Italian bread cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ lbs ripe tomatoes cut into bite sized pieces
  • 8 ounces mozzarella pearls
  • ¼ cup thin sliced red onion
  • ½ English cucumber cut in half and sliced
  • ½ cup chopped basil
  • 2 tablespoons capers 

Vinaigrette

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic pressed
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cover large baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. Toss the bread cubes with the olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Spread them out in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 15-18  minutes or until golden brown and crunchy like croutons. 
  4. Combine the olive oil, vinegar, salt, black pepper, garlic, and Dijon mustard in a mason jar and shake to coat.
  5. Add the cooled bread cubes, tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, red onion, English cucumbers, basil, and capers to a large bowl. Shake the vinaigrette one more time and drizzle over the bread salad. Toss the bread salad to coat.  For best results serve promptly.  

Notes

  • Use Italian bread, crusty French bread, or ciabatta bread or rolls.
  • Mix the dressing up to 24 hours in advance and store in a mason jar in the fridge. When ready to prepare the rest of the recipe simply remove it from the refrigerator 40 minutes in advance. Shake well before drizzling over the salad.
  • Use a madoline for thin sliced red onions and perfectly sliced cucumbers.
  • Panzanella is best served shortly after is prepared and tossed. The bread should be coated with the dressing but not soggy. This will happen if you toss the salad too far in advance.
  • To prepare ahead of time get the individual ingredients together and store in individual containers or seal bags. Fully cool the croutons before storing in a zipper bag on the counter. The other ingredients should be stored in the refrigerator.
  • If using mozzarella balls instead of pearls cut them in half.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a day. The ingredients will still stay good but the bread will get soggy. 

Keywords: panzanella, panzanella salad recipe

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