Panzanella is one of our favourite salads to have in AnotherFoodBloggers house. The delicious crusty bread, fresh herbs and juicy tomatoes – it’s perfect on it’s own or with some grilled meat.
The first time I made panzanella salad was a few years ago. Our daughter was a couple months old and we were visiting Byron Bay for a few weeks before my wife went back to work. We had the joy of some good friends tagging along to hang on the beach and help Mrs AnotherFoodBlogger with the cleaning after me from the cooking!
I was grilling some chicken thighs for lunch and wanted to throw a nice salad together to accompany it. I truthfully didn’t want to put a ton of effort into it as I was keener to hit the pool and drink a beer while the baby slept. We had some bread that was just about ok to eat and I didn’t want it to go to waste so I figured lets google a panzanella salad. Luckily I had the majority of the ingredients at hand and our friends were happy to grab the last few things on the way.
Lunch was for 6 and a couple kids so there also needed to be enough food to go around. Panzanella salad for the win! It was perfect. So much so that my mate Chris’s Dad – Jim who was visiting with his wife Margie from NZ said that if Margie could replicate it back home he would sell the farm and buy her the villa we were staying in!! Needless to say there hasn’t been a villa purchased yet so either Jim ain’t good on his word or Margie knew he was spoofing from the beginning – I guess that’s a whole other story though. All in all lunch was a great success and since then I have been making this on the regular for my wife and it’s only been improving in time – so much so that it’s time to share it with the world!!
Before I give you the recipe I will state one thing. The 2 most important ingredients are tomatoes and bread. What’s funny about this is 1 of them needs to be super fresh and the other needs to be a little old. Source the best juiciest tomatoes you can find, get a mixture of sizes and colours to add a pop to the salad. With regards to the bread – it’s best to be a few days old to work best. I’ve chopped mine up and thrown it in the oven to crisp up – which works but having an old loaf of ciabatta or rustic sourdough definitely works best. So it’s the kinda salad you can plan a couple days in advance OR unknown to you just randomly decide to make it when you didn’t finish that loaf of bread you bought the other day.
Either way you won’t be disappointed when you tuck into some panzanella salad, so – enjoy!
- 600 g medley of tomatoes roughly chopped
- 200 g old crusty bread roughly chopped/torn
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 8-10 anchovies chopped
- 2 tbsp capers
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
- 8 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- pinch salt
- pinch pepper
- pinch chili flakes optional
- 1 handful basil leaves torn
- Whisk the oil, vinegar and salt/pepper together and set aside.
- Add all salad ingredients EXCEPT basil to the large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 of salad dressing and stir well to combine.
- Add more dressing as required and throw in most of the basil and toss gently so as not to bruise the basil.
- Serve panzanella salad on plate or new bowl and sprinkle remaining basil on top.
- chopping board
- large mixing bowl
- small mixing bowl
- measuring spoons
- its all about the tomatoes so make sure you work with the best ones you canget your hands on
- you can substitute red wine vinegar if you don't have balsamic
to bulk up the salad more feel free to add rocket or mesculin leaves
- add the salt sparingly to the salad as you will have salt from the capers & anchovies