Friday, August 10, 2012

Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)

(Italian Bread Salad)
(4 servings)


6 cups Rustic Bread (your choice), cut into no bigger than 1 inch cubes
1/8 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 very large Fresh Tomatoes, seeded and cut into no bigger than 1 inch cubes
½ tsp. Salt
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar
 ½ tsp. Black Pepper
1 large Cucumber, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 small Red Onion, medium chop
¼ cup Fresh Basil, chopped
To taste Salt and Black Pepper


In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the 1/8 cup oil and spread out on a sheet pan.  Place in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes being sure to stir halfway through the time.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.  Using the same large bowl, toss the tomatoes and salt together than place in strainer and let drip back into the large bowl for about 15 minutes.  When the time is up on tomatoes set them aside, whisk the oil, vinegar and tomato juices together in the large bowl.  Now add the cooled bread cubes and toss.  Let this stand for 10 minutes or so occasionally re-tossing.  Add the tomato, cucumber, onion and basil to bowl and toss again.  Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper before serving.

Note:               I like red onion but you could use a large shallot instead.  The salad doesn’t call for any cheese but some nice fresh grated cheese could add another dimension.

Ideas for Future Efforts


  1. You want to use a heavier dryer bread. The type that when you squeeze them there is not much give. Not any sliced breads. Not the soft French or Italian bread that Wal-Mart sells (last resort if you can't find anything else). Wal-Mart and Hy-Vee sell some of these types but a place like Panera's would have more choices. A good bakery would have them too. Artisan breads would be another name for them.

  2. Sounds delish Barry!