When you sit down at an Italian restaurant you can’t keep your hands off the bread basket because nothing is more satisfying than a warm, crunchy slice of bread soaked in olive oil. That same light comfort can be found in a salad.

Welcome the bright, fresh taste of summer with panzanella. Here, sweet, succulent garden tomatoes are picked off the vine and tossed in a light vinaigrette with slightly stale bread. Deliciously light, vibrantly fresh, this Tuscan classic is like sunshine in a bowl.

Italian Panzanella Salad

  • Yields: 3 servings
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Hands-On Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

For the salad:

*Panzanella is best when made from slightly stale bread. If you don’t have a leftover loaf handy, leave your bread out overnight or take advantage of your bakery’s “day-old” table.

For the vinaigrette:

Directions

  1. Place the bread cubes in a single layer on a cookie sheet and toast in a 350°F oven for three to five minutes or until golden. Let cool.

  2. Place the toasted bread, tomatoes, onion, basil and cucumber in a large mixing bowl and set aside while you make the vinaigrette.

  3. Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients into a jar or small container and shake vigorously until thoroughly combined.

  4. Pour half of the vinaigrette over the panzanella and toss gently but thoroughly. Add the remaining vinaigrette, toss once more and serve.