Panzanella salad is the perfect way to use up all of the lovely summer produce that is available this time of year! This Tuscan bread salad is traditionally made with tomatoes and basil, but I decided to add a few extra veggies including kale, sweet peppers and pickled onions.
This salad starts with the stale bread sitting on your kitchen counter. If you happen to be bread lovers like Kev and I and stale bread is not a common occurrence in your house, you can toast or grill your bread to make it nice and crispy and get a similar effect.
This is the ideal make-ahead dish. The longer the salad sits, the better it tastes because the bread has time to soak up the flavorful juices. Just make sure your bread thoroughly dries out in the oven or on the grill so it won’t turn to mush.
Assemble the salad, clean up the dishes, and pour yourself a glass of rosé- it’s time for panzanella!
- 3 thick slices of stale sourdough bread
- 2-3 sweet peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 leaves of kale, stems removed and thinly sliced
- 8oz little mozzarella balls, halved
- Big handful of basil, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup pickled onions (see below)
- For the pickled onions:
- 1 small red onion, sliced into thick strips
- ½ cup white wine vinegar
- pinch of sugar
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup warm water
- For the vinaigrette:
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon Dijon or whole grain mustard
- 3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Start by making the pickled onions. Place sliced onions in a tight-lidded jar just large enough to hold all the onion. Add the white wine vinegar, sugar and salt and shake gently. Add warm water so that it covers the onions and shake again. Chill for at least an hour, or up to days in advance.
- Toast (or grill) sourdough bread until golden brown then slice it into bite sized pieces.
- To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the peppers, tomatoes, kale, mozzarella, basil, and pickled onions. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette.
- Serve immediately or allow the salad to sit to let the flavors blend.