From the Kitchen

Fresh Summer Panzanella Salad

Hi! I’m Kat. I’m new here and so happy to be sharing this recipe as my first post. I live in the PNW and summer here is just ramping up after a slow start. We are currently experiencing wonderful, hot, summer-salad-weather right now and whipping up a dish with fresh tomatoes is the perfect antidote for a warm night when you don’t want to cook. Panzanella salad can sit for a few hours at room temperature melding the flavors, perfect for a make-ahead meal or bringing to a pot luck party.

Fresh Summer Panzanella Salad

What I love most about this recipe is the versatility. A true panzanella does not have roasted vegetables, but a quick search will show you there are endless possibilities for roasted and fresh versions. Don’t like an ingredient? Omit it. This recipe can stand additions and subtractions without much fuss.

The key here is a fresh loaf of bread and the ripest tomatoes you can find. This is where store bought bread crumbs or unripe tomatoes will leave you feeling sad and disappointed. So be sure to look for fresh ingredients when making this recipe.

This is my favorite way to eat panzanella salad, a blend of roasted and fresh vegetables to give it depth and nuance. If you are a vegetarian it can stand on two legs as a meal or you could add more cheese or a grain like couscous to round it out a bit. I paired it with grilled salmon and then ate it as leftovers as a steak salad with the addition of arugula which was equally tasty.


Summer Panzanella Salad

Summer Panzanella Salad
Main Ingredients
  • 1 ear of cooked or fresh corn cut off the cob
  • ½ loaf sour white bread or baguette torn or cut into 1 inch cubes (approx. 3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for tossing
  • ½ pound fresh green beans 265 grams
  • 1 pound zucchini halved lengthwise (420 grams)
  • 2 pounds fresh ripe tomatoes, ok to mix varieties (600 grams)
  • 6 ounces mozzarella pearls ciligene, or a large ball, torn
  • ½ red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt plus more for tasting
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon capers drained
  • ½ cup torn or chopped basil
  • ½ cup flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper optional
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread the cut bread cubes on a baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake until they are dried out and pale golden, about 7-15 minutes. Alternatively you could dry out the bread crumbs on the counter a day or two before making the salad.
  2. Cut the tomatoes and add to a large bowl with the mozzarella, red onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and ½ teaspoon salt. This will sit and marinate while you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Snap off the ends of the green beans and place on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with a glug of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and place on a separate rimmed baking sheet with a glug of olive oil and pinch of salt and pepper. Cooking these on two separate baking sheets allows you to pull them out at different times. Bake the green beans for 15 minutes and the zucchini for 20 minutes. Once they have cooled, cut the zucchini into 1/4 inch half moons.
  4. In a small bowl whisk 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 minced garlic clove, mustard, ½ teaspoon salt and slowly drizzle in the 4 tablespoons olive oil.
  5. Now is the moment! Add the bread cubes, corn, roasted vegetables and capers to the tomato mixture. Stir in the chopped basil and parsley. Pour the dressing over the entire mixture and toss with tongs or your hands. Let sit for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours before serving. Taste and add more salt, olive oil and red wine vinegar just before serving. Enjoy!

Be sure to check out more ideas for summer salads:

  • Fresh Summer Fruit Salad – spruce up a basic fruit salad with a few of these tips!
  • Simple Summer Pasta Salads – I found 9 ideas for simple summer pasta salads and I can’t wait to try them all. I hope they inspire you to try one or two for your next picnic with friends or family.
  • Easy Caprese Salad – If you’re planning a bbq or a picnic, this tomato salad is a crowd-pleaser!
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