This Zesty Summer Panzanella Salad is full of amazing flavors and one of my all time favorite salads. A delicious mix of heirloom tomatoes, basil, cucumbers and peppers with a light vinaigrette dressing. This fresh, flavorful salad is the epitome of summer flavors with its toasty chunks of bread and champagne vinaigrette. Making it the perfect salad for summer entertaining!
I love adding a few shavings of fresh parmesan on top. Additionally, mozzarella or burrata cheese are always easy ways to elevate it.
For the bread I suggest using a boule, baguette or ciabatta that is at least 1 to 2 days old. The more stale the bread, the crispier it will get when you make the croutons. The basil adds a bright, fresh flavor to the salad. As for the tomatoes. You can use heirlooms, cherry tomatoes or a mix of whatever looks best at your farmers market or garden. I love using San Marzano tomatoes (TJ’s has them year round). I prefer to use either a yellow or orange pepper for this salad for the color as well as the more subtle flavor vs doing a green.
The simple champagne vinaigrette dressing calls for olive oil, champagne vinegar, orange juice, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Most of which you hopefully already have on hand! Plus you can put it all in a jar and shake it up in a flash.
Putting it together.
This one is fairly straightforward. Chop all your veggies and place in a large serving bowl. Secondly, grab a jar or bowl and mix (or shake) together all of the dressing ingredients. I love using mason jars for dressings.
In a large non stick pan over medium high heat and add olive oil. Once the pan is hot gently add in the bread tossing to lightly coat and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Stirring and turning until golden brown about 3-4 minutes or desired crunchiness.
Now you are ready to put it all together. Pour the dressing over the veggies and stir until incorporated. You can make this ahead of time and let sit. It is best if it can sit for at least 30 minutes so the flavors incorporate but this can totally be made the day before and the flavors only get better. I usually just leave the basil out so it doesn’t get wilted, but that is a personal preference.
Just before serving add the croutons and gently stir. Top with fresh parmesan cheese and extra basil. Serve immediately.
Lastly, if you make this Zesty Summer Panzanella Salad, be sure to leave a comment, or give this recipe a rating! I’d love to hear from you. If you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram! I love seeing the photos of the recipes you make!
3 cups of chopped artisanal bread (boule or similar)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp champagne vinegar
2 Tbsp. juice of an orange or orange juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste (be generous)
1 Tbsp. brown mustard
2 cloves of minced garlic
1. In a large serving bowl place all the chopped veggies
2. In a jar or bowl mix or shake together all the dressing ingredients
3. In a large non stick pan over medium heat olive oil and add bread gently tossing to lightly coat, sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Stirring and turning until golden brown about 3-4 minutes.
5. Add dressing to veggies and stir until incorporated. You can make this ahead of time and let sit. It is best if it can sit for at least 30 minutes so the flavors incorporate.
6. Add croutons and gently stir. Top with fresh parmesan cheese and extra basil. Serve immediately.