If you’ve started following me on Instagram or Facebook, you will know that I love to bake with a sourdough starter. I’ve been baking with a starter on and off for about eight years and can’t get enough of the bread that results from it. The crispy crust, beautiful score, soft interior and beautiful air holes not only taste delicious but are just fun for me to work with. The only issue I’ve run into is the abundance of bread in my house: Enter this amazing Panzanella Salad. It’s the perfect way to use up leftover bread, re-purposing it into a delicious homemade salad.
Ingredients in Homemade Panzanella Salad
Crusty Bread: A panzanella salad is the perfect way re-purpose and to use up a few days old bread. When you heat it in the oven, the cubes of bread will turn crispy and delicious. I like using homemade bread if possible, but you can also make this salad with a store-bought crusty bread.
Tomatoes: Ripe, juicy and in-season cherry tomatoes are my favorite in this salad.
Cucumber: Cucumber adds a nice crunch to the salad and pairs well with the other flavors. I use about 1 cucumber for this recipe. Add more or less depending on your preference.
Mozzarella: Fresh mozzarella adds a creamy flavor and delicious texture to this salad.
Vinaigrette: I love balsamic vinegar with crispy bread, so this vinaigrette uses balsamic instead of a traditional red wine vinegar. If you prefer the traditional flavor of red wine vinegar, substitute that in the recipe
Panzanella is a Traditional Italian Salad
Panzanella salad is a traditional Italian salad that combines homemade crusty bread, juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, crisp cucumbers, and fragrant herbs, all tossed together in a tangy vinaigrette. Easy to prepare and the delicious flavors will keep you coming back for more. One of my favorite ways to use up some leftover bread is in this panzanella salad. The star of the salad is the delicious toasted bread chunks, followed closely with the bright cherry tomatoes, sweet cucumber and creamy mozzarella. This is the perfect summer salad recipe. I also love balsamic vinegar, so I opted for a balsamic dressing instead of a traditional red wine vinaigrette. You choose what suits you best and you can’t go wrong.
Looking to Make Delicious Sourdough Bread?
Panzanella salad is one of the recipes that I crave, especially in the summertime with fresh tomatoes. It is worth joining a CSA, going to your farmers market or growing your own tomatoes this summer…just for this recipe!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make panzanella salad ahead of time?
Everything in this salad can be prepared ahead of time. Cut up the vegetables. Cube the bread and toast it (the morning of serving or up to 24 hours before–depending on how crispy you want your bread cubes). Mix up the vinaigrette. Once you are ready to eat your Mediterranean style salad, mix everything together in a big bowl and enjoy.
How do I store leftover panzanella salad?
Store the components of this fresh vegetable salad separately. If you aren’t planning to eat all six servings, prepare all the ingredients and mix together only what you want to serve. Pour the fresh salad dressing over that portion and save the rest to use over the next few days.
What bread do you recommend using in this panzanella salad?
I love using a sourdough bread in this summer salad recipe, but any crusty bread will work well.
Looking for More Delicious Eats?
- 1 demi baguette cut into 1 inch cubes, about 3-4 cups
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 large cucumber chopped
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella
- 1/2 cup fresh basil torn or chiffonade
- 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar good quality
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil good quality
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut demi-baguette (or half of a traditional baguette) into 1 inch cubes and spread on the baking sheet. Mince the garlic. Toss bread cubes and garlic with 2 Tablespoons olive oil and bake for about 8-10 minutes until crunchy.
- Slice the cherry tomatoes in half, cut the cucumber into bite-sized piecexs and cube the mozzarella cheese. Chiffonade the basil and mix the tomatoes, cucumber, mozzarella and basil together in a separate bowl.
- Mix balsamic vinegar, olive oil and dijon mustard together in a small bowl until emulsified.
- In a serving bowl, mix together the toasted baguette and tomato mixture. Top with dressing and serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!