Here’s a delicious classic Italian panzanella salad for you to try out immediately. Are you familiar with panzanella? Or in other words: a bread salad with ripe tomatoes, fresh basil and black olives!
Bread salad, really?
What’s in a name.
However, it makes sense though!
Have you heard of this panzanella before?
I have to admit that panzanella sounds way more appetizing, isn’t that true? This dish is again another example of pure Italian flavors and ingredients. But also another good example of poor people’s food. Because the meaning behind this salad is to turn old and dried out leftover bread into a delicious meal again.
Zero waste isn’t just a new trend, you see.
How to make old bread edible again then?
Well that’s why you always add the fresh tomatoes.
This bread salad has to rest and marinate in the fridge before you serve it, that’s a very important step. Why? Because while resting the bread absorbs the moisture of all the other ingredients. The tomato juice, the olive oil and the vinegar here in this case.
And that’s what makes the old bread so soft and edible again!
What a great idea this is.
Panzanella Salad (Italian Bread Salad)
I kept my version and the flavors in this Tuscan bread salad very simple.
I just added a couple of black olives and some red onion. Other ingredients that you can also find in a panzanella salad are capers in brine, fresh cucumber, mozzarella, bell pepper, toasted pine nuts and so on. Whatever you add, just don’t forget the fresh basil and tomatoes here!
Those 2 things are an absolute must.
Bread can be a great side dish but it can also be easily incorporated in a dish! Therefore take a look at my baked red gurnard recipe on toast with tomato vinaigrette!
- 16 cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 10,5 oz bread (300 g)
- a handful fresh basil
- 16 black olives
- 3 tbsp red onion chopped
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese grated
- 1 large garlic clove sliced
- olive oil
Slice the bread into ½ inch (1 cm) thick slices. Then dice them up into even cubes, a little smaller than bite-size.
Then spread the diced bread evenly over a large baking tray. If you are using rather fresh bread and you have enough time, let the bread dry for an hour. Otherwise grill it quickly until crisp. Don't burn it! Pour some olive oil in a large non-stick pan and place it over medium-high heat until hot. Then add the garlic.
Fry it for 4 minutes. Then discard the garlic: it's only to flavor the oil. Then add the diced bread.
Stir for a minute until the bread has absorbed the oil. Bake the bread for 4 minutes. Then add the sliced cherry tomatoes to the pan.
Take the pan off the heat and stir. Also add the black olives and chopped red onion. Season with pepper and salt.
Stir well. Chop the fresh basil roughly and add it to the pan. Then pour in the balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil.
Stir again. Cover the bread salad and chill it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Then stir the salad again, check the seasoning and add extra pepper, salt or balsamic vinegar to taste if necessary. Pour the salad onto a serving plate, sprinkle with the grated parmesan cheese and serve.