Recipe: Italian Panzanella

Panzanella is an Italian dish that is traditionally made with day old bread. It is a great summer recipe because it uses delicious, fresh summer produce like tomatoes and cucumbers.

For the Vinaigrette
2 cloves garlic (minced)
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon spicy or Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the Salad
1 hot house cucumber
2 tomatoes
20 – 30 basil leaves
This depends on the size of the leaves, I used 30 medium leaves.
1/2 – 1 small red onion
I use a whole one, but I love red onions 🙂
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
3 cups homemade croutons
3 cups of day old bread (cubed)
6 cups of day old bread (cubed)

1. Combine the garlic, red wine vinegar and mustard into a bowl, whisk in the olive oil. Then add the salt and pepper. Do a taste test and decide if you want to add more salt or pepper.

2. Cut the cucumber long ways and remove the seeds. Then cut it into bite size pieces. Place into a large bowl.

3. Remove the core of the tomato and quarter it. Remove the seeds. Dice the tomato and and add it to the bowl with the cucumbers.

4. Chiffonade your basil but do thicker slices then you normally would. (To chiffonade, stack several basil leaves and roll them into a tight roll, slice them starting at one end. Normally you would do thin “little” ribbons which is what chiffonade means but, in this case, I sliced my ribbons thicker). Add it to the tomato and cucumbers.

5. Slice the red onion into thin slices. Add them into the bowl along with another teaspoon of Kosher salt and the vinaigrette. Stir.

6. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

7. Remove from the refrigerator and add the croutons and day old bread. Stir. Allow this to set for 30 minutes to an hour before serving.

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