Bread salad. It’s a thing. And if you’re feeling fancy, you can refer to it as panzanella. It’s an excellent way to use stale bread and a fast, satisfying contribution to an end-of-summer picnic.
The first time I had panzanella was when my now fiancé and his roommate decided to play Ina Garten one Friday night. I was so impressed with their culinary victory—and it proved that anybody can make panzanella. :)
The vegetables listed below are just a suggestion, so use what you already have. Fresh corn or even a sprinkle of feta cheese would be delish, too!
Food La La Recipe: Panzanella
- 1 crusty French baguette or sourdough round, cut into ½” cubes
- 1 cucumber, cut lengthwise, seeded, then cut into half moons
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 2 cups organic baby heirloom tomatoes sliced in half
- 1/3 cup basil, chopped
- 1/3 cup dill, chopped
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Gently warm a thin layer of olive oil in the bottom of a large cast iron pan. Add half (WHY? #1) the bread and a sprinkle of salt, then toss to coat.
- Toast the bread until all sides turn golden brown (8-10 min). Remove bread from pan and transfer to a large bowl.
- Repeat steps 1-2 with remaining bread.
- In a small bowl, combine the balsamic, garlic, and mustard. Whisk until combined.
- Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while you continue to whisk. Set aside.
- Add all panzanella ingredients to the large bowl and gently stir to mix with the bread.
- Add dressing and toss until coated.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Cover and set aside for 2-3 hours to let flavors meld before serving.
Psst! A few recipe notes:
- WHY? #1: If you add all the bread at once, you’ll crowd the pan and likely end up with soggy bread instead of toasted bread.