I had the best panzanella salad at Redd in Napa and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about panzanella since then! It’s a perfect summer salad that uses tomatoes and cucumbers at the height of ripeness.
If you’re planning on making this in the morning and taking it for lunch, don’t toss the bread with the rest of the salad. It’ll become soggy and laden with dressing, which isn’t quite what you’re going for!
Some people toast the bread, others rub it with garlic, there are so many variations. I just like it plain, but it’s great to play around.
These quantities are for a large, entree-sized portion for 1 person. Feel free to scale it up or down as necessary.
- 1/3 loaf day-old Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 large tomato, trimmed and each cut into wedges
- 1 sliced unwaxed cucumber
- 1/2 cup sliced red onion (I didn’t have red onion so I subbed a white one. Red is so much better.)
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. red-wine vinegar
- 10 fresh basil leaves, shredded
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a mixing bowl, gently toss the ingredients together. Taste and adjust the ingredient levels as necessary.
So many wonderful flavors and textures in one dish! The bite of the red wine vinegar is a perfect match for the sweetness of the ripe tomatoes. Though the ingredients are so simple, it packs a huge flavor punch. It’s also a good base recipe, so if you want to throw other things in there (e.g., artichoke hearts, garlic) or substitute anything (e.g., shallots for red onions), it’s really forgiving.