This easy Panzanella Salad recipe is a delicious mix of veggies and bread so you can enjoy the flavors of summer any time of year with this classic Italian bread salad!
Today’s post is sponsored by my friends over at DaVinci Wine through Kitchen PLAY. Thank you for supporting the brands who support this site!
I am absolutely flush in tomatoes right now and I couldn’t be happier about it. There’s nothing like enjoying the bounty of harvest this time of year!
My garden has had its ups and downs this year (nothing to do with my inability to remember to take care of it, I’m sure), but one thing I’ve got is beautiful tomatoes.
After my trip to Italy earlier this year I knew I wanted to try my hand at growing my own tomatoes and basil so I could make a delicious end of summer panzanella salad.
DaVinci Wine must have been reading my mind, because they reached out with impeccable timing to talk about partnering on a post.
Did I have any recipes that would pair well with their Pinot Grigio?
Yeah, hmmm, let me think about that. I was already thinking of salad recipes.
I couldn’t have picked a better wine to pair with this panzanella salad! It was clean, crisp, and perfectly acidic without being too sweet.
The grapes for DaVinci Pinot Grigio are grown in beautiful northeastern Italy where the cool evenings and warm days provide the perfect place to produce a crisp and elegant grape. DaVinci wines are produced by a cooperative of over 200 local winegrowers who reside in the historic town of Vinci (yep, as in Leonardo da Vinci).
It’s truly a versatile wine and would be as delicious paired with a portabella mushroom burger as it would be with a classic pasta dish.
Making this panzanella salad recipe is a total breeze.
You start by tossing some bread cubes in browned butter before toasting them in the oven until crisp around the edges.
Whip up a quick dressing in a large mixing bowl, then add the tomatoes, cucumber, and bell pepper along with the toasted bread. Give everything a good stir, then transfer it to a serving platter.
I’ve rounded out the flavors by including some fragrant fresh basil, pungent pickled red onion, and creamy burrata cheese.
If you can get your hands on a variety of heirloom tomatoes, I highly recommend using a variety of colors and textures. It makes for a beautiful presentation!
In the interest of full disclosure, I ate this whole salad by myself over the course of an afternoon.
While panzanella was created as a way to use up leftover bread, you don’t have to let a loaf of Italian bread sit out until it becomes stale bread or dry bread, you will simply toast it a bit in the oven.
The salad itself doesn’t hold up very well as a leftover. Once the bread soaks up the dressing it needs to be enjoyed sooner rather than later to avoid soggy bread syndrome.
If you want to make this ahead of time, simply toast the bread as directed, let it cool, and store it in an airtight container. Chop up the vegetables and store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to go.
When it’s serving time, just make the dressing, toss everything together, plate it, and serve!
Summer Panzanella Salad Recipe
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 cups cubed crusty bread
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 clovers garlic - pressed
- 1 tablespoon dried chives
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups heirloom tomato wedges
- 1 1/2 cups sliced English cucumber
- 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped red - yellow, or orange bell pepper
- 8 ounces burrata cheese - drained
- 1/4 cup pickled red onion
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat a saute pan over medium and add 3 tablespoons of the unsalted butter. Cook the butter for 2 to 3 minutes, until it is foamed and turned a light brown. Add half of the bread cubes and quickly toss them to soak up the butter. Transfer the buttered cubes to a parchment lined baking sheet. Add the remaining butter to the pan and repeat with the second half of the bread cubes.
- Place the tray of buttered bread cubes into the preheated oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, shaking the tray halfway through, until the bread is crisp on the outside with just the slightest give in the center.
- Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, sugar, pressed garlic, dried chives, salt, and pepper in the bottom of a large mixing bowl.
- Add the tomatoes, cucumber, and bell pepper to the bowl and toss well.
- Once the bread is done toasting, allow to cool before transferring to the mixing bowl. Toss everything together, then transfer to a serving platter. Arrange the burrata on the serving platter, then scatter the pickled red onion and basil leaves over the top. Serve at once.