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I see a lot of recipes where people don’t soak the bread in water, which is the way traditional panzanella is made. I personally sprinkle water+vinegar on the bread to get it wet before I incorporate it to the vegetables.
We made a panzanella this evening with 4 kinds of our homegrown tomatoes and added half-rounds of mozzarella and crispy pancetta along with the briefly seared peppers and onion threads. Oh, almost forgot the chunks of perfectly ripe avocado. Deliciious!
I made this today and it was delicious! Good tomatoes and bakery bread are a MUST for the great taste that this recipe will provide. We had this along side fish and that was all that was needed. We loved how the flavors all shined through, complimenting each beautifully! I personally wouldn’t change a thing!
One question for Elise: You end the recipe with the caveat regarding refrigerating the salad after making it since it’s a “no-no” for fresh tomatoes in terms of texture and taste…. but after eating it, leftovers should be refrigerated overnight for next day use, correct?
Depends on how long you want to store it. There’s no meat or dairy in it, it will be fine at room temp for several hours. All of the components are fine at room temp (just covered). So, it depends on how long you want to store it. I do think refrigerating garden fresh tomatoes hurts their taste and texture. Of course if you are using tomatoes that have already been chilled, then the damage is done, so it doesn’t matter. And some hot house tomatoes that I’ve had don’t have great flavor to begin with. But good garden tomatoes? I wouldn’t refrigerate if I could avoid it.
I soak the red onion in water for a few minutes to mellow them slightly. I also add red wine vinegar and bake the bread drizzled in olive oil and sea salt to crisp up. Thanks to Florence Knight and her wonderful book ‘One – A cook and her cupboard’ for these tips!
Had this dish with a fried egg on top at a restaurant in Petoskey, Michigan and it was the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten. Thought you’d like to hear about that spin on the recipe. Thanks, Elise.
Made this last night with an olive loaf, delish!
This is my favorite summer salad. To make it even more delicious, I fry the bread chunks in olive oil. Not only does it add great flavor and and crunch; as the bread sits in the dressing it begins to very slowly dissolve, thickening the sometime watery sauce. I also sprinkle the tomato chunks with a bit of salt and let them drain for 1/2 hour or so, which gets rid of excess moisture and intensifies the flavor of the tomatos. Sounds so good, think I’ll make it tonight for dinner :).
Sitting on the back patio, with a glass of red wine and a bowl full of a panzanella salad epitomizes summertime to me. I need to start picking our backyard tomatoes and make this for my family.
I lived in Sicily for 3 years and ate this salad all the time. One of my favorites! In Sicily they add orange segments to it.
Kate, thank you for reminding me that oranges and tomatoes can really taste wonderful together! A few yeas ago I was served a shrimp scampi garnished with tomatoes and oranges, that was scrumptious! I went on a binge of that combination but had since forgotten it. You have brought it to light, again. Thank You!
What a great recipe! We use a similar arrangement every time there is left-over corn bread too, it adds a delicious crumbly sweetness to the mix.
My Italian neighbours in Tuscany use stale bread which is grated then steeped in just enough olive oil to soak into the bread, (any extra oil can be squeezed out) to give the bread the consistency of couscous, they then add any and all available in season salads and raw vegetables cut up really small, add capers, olives, salt and pepper, mix it all together and put into individual small dishes for a starter or into one large bowl for people to help themselves to as a side salad. Dress with vinegar or lemon juice to taste.
Elise… delicious, simple, and beautiful! It got rave reviews at our weekend picnic. I have made many things from your blog in the last few years, and I must say that this is going on a permanent favorites list! If I didn’t already love tomatoes, the photo alone would make me try this salad.
Just made this. LOVED it! Added mozzerella and baby arugula. Yummy! Thanks for all the great ideas.
Looks great. Just out of curiosity…in the picture it’s looks like there’s yellow tomatoes and..is it prosciutto?
That would be yellow tomatoes, and some very dark red tomatoes. ~Elise
Hi Elise! Delicious and easy, as ALWAYS. Thanks!
Hi Elise, this does look delicious, and makes me very jealous that I don’t have a garden of my own with fresh tomatoes!
If you’re interested, I caught an episode of Good Eats a few days ago focused on tomatoes, and Alton Brown turned a BLT into a panzanella. (Rightly called “TBL” because of course the tomatoes are the most important.) I haven’t made it yet, but I’ve been having dreams about this idea! The recipe is here:
if you want to give it a shot!
I made this over the weekend when Fuji Mama and family came for dinner. She recognized it right away from this site. It was delicious! I love the idea of salad + bread being one. It definitely simplifies things. I will be making this again and again.