Classic Italian Bread Salad
Summer tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and basil tossed with toasted baguette cubes and then allowed to soak in a flavorful vinaigrette. I love it!
The record of Panzanella goes back to the 16th century when the famous painter and poet Bronzino described the salad of oil and vinegar tossed with onions and served with toast. Of course, this was well before the tomato was introduced to the Italian kitchen, so originally onion and sometimes other garden vegetables were added in. Today, Panzanella is synonymous with late summer, ripe tomatoes, so visit your farmer’s market and add them in.
I love to add some capers to this salad, but BE BRAVE and try olives, or roasted red peppers as well. Then toss, let sit for 20-30 minutes so the bread has a chance to soak in those juices and savor every bite, as I did multiple times this week discovering my perfect combination!
Classic Savory Panzanella
4 tablespoons O&V Garlic oil *
1 French baguette cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large tomatoes, cut into cubes, or 8 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and sliced
1 orange bell pepper, seeded, and cubed
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cubed
½ red onion, thinly sliced
Basil leaves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons capers, drained
¼ cup mini mozzarella balls
1/8 cup O&V Basil EVOO *
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon Dijon Mustard
3 tablespoons O&V Marc de Champagne vinegar *
½ cup O&V Basil EVOO
Salt and freshly cracked Pepper to taste
Heat the Garlic oil in a large sauté pan. Add the bread and kosher salt and cook over low to medium heat tossing frequently for 10 minutes until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.
Soak the mozzarella balls in the 1/8 cup of Basil EVOO, salt and pepper for 8-12 hours.
Whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients together in a bowl or a small jar with a lid.
In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, onion, capers and basil leaves. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season with salt and cracked pepper. Add the mozzarella balls and marinade, and toss. Let sit for 30 minutes for flavors to blend.
Active Time: 30 minutes. Total time excluding marinating cheese: 60 minutes
* Yes, as always, I love using the products from our Oil & Vinegar franchise. Here the
Garlic EVOO adds nice flavor to the toasted bread. You can substitute a plain EVOO and 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic.
* The Basil EVOO adds a fabulously intense flavor to both the mozzarella pearls and the dressing. A plain oil plus the addition of lots more basil will provide a good flavor too
* The Marc de Champagne vinegar is amazing, adding subtle sweetness and nice tang. Use a high-quality white wine vinegar
Categories: Soups & Salads, Vegetarian, Vegan Option, Toasted Bread, Basil EVOO, Garlic EVOO, Marc de Champagne vinegar, Panzanella, Italian Bread Salad, Baguette, Cucumber, Peppers, Onions, Basil, Capers, Mozzarella Pearls, Herby, Summer Salad,