Panzanella Salad Recipe

Traditional Panzanella Salad

This recipe is a variation of the Insalata di Pane or Tuscan Bread Salad. Ripe tomatoes are an important part of the salad. Mozzarella and salami are included for richness. It is an ideal make-ahead dish. Make sure that the bread is well dried out in the oven, so your salad won’t turn into a mush.

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes


Use white bread with a firm texture, it can be a couple of days old. Ciabattas or any crusty, white bread works well. Don’t use sandwich bread.

  • 1 lbs (450 g) ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup (30 g) chopped scallions
  • 3 cups (120 g) of stale Italian bread, cut into 1 inches (2,5 cm) cubes
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil for baking the bread
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) extra virgin olive oil for dressing
  • 12 black olives (in oil)
  • 12 basil leaves
  • a large bunch of arugula (rocket), spinach or any other bitter green salad, washed and spin-dried
  • 6 oz (170 g) mozzarella cut into 1 inch (2,5 cm) cubes
  • Balsamico vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 12 slices of Italian salami, cut into slivers (optional)


Preheat oven 450°F/230°C.

Toss bread cubes with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a bit salt in a bowl. Spread bread cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment and roast it for about 8-15 minutes or until the bread cubes are dried out and golden brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and let cubes cool on a wire rack. In a small bowl combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper whisking constantly. Stir in the bread cubes, tomatoes and toss well. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes. Just before serving add mozzarella, arugula, black olives and the salami. Add more olive oil and balsamic if needed

A bottle of chilled rosé, Pinot Grigio or any light, crisp white wine completes this agreeable, tasty summer dish.

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