This fresh and simple Summer Panzanella Salad features the best of summer produce – sweet vine-ripened tomatoes, cooling cucumbers, crunchy radishes and loads of fresh basil all tossed up together with the most delicious, homemade garlicky croutons. Panzanella Salad, also know as Italian bread Salad, is really all about the bread, and here, the bread is toasted up in a skillet in flavorful olive oil infused with a garlic clove. The challenge becomes not eating all the croutons before the salad is made. It’s dressed with a simple red wine vinaigrette and as the salad marinates, the flavors meld lovingly. A delicious side dish to grilled fish or meat, or turn it into a vegetarian main by adding chickpeas. Either way, you’ll love it!
Be sure to use tomatoes that are in season and locally grown if possible- these will have the very best flavor.
Today I’ve added radishes, but feel free to substitute red or yellow bell pepper.
Traditionally, the salad is made with with day old focaccia bread, but here I’ve used a leftover rosemary sourdough bread. French bread, baguette, sourdough, or most any rustic, unsliced bread will work great here.
Cut or tear the pieces into large-ish 1 inch cubes.
Before toasting the bread in the skillet add a smashed garlic clove to the olive oil, infusing it with goodness, and sure to get everyone salivating.
Toss the crispy garlicky croutons with the salad and dress with the vinaigrette.
Let it sit 10-15 minutes, toss again, then serve.
Make this Summer Panzanella Salad while local tomatoes are still in season…. for the BEST flavor!Print
Summer Panzanella Salad Recipe
A simple delicious recipe for Summer Panzanella Salad ( Italian Bread Salad) with Garlicky pan-seared croutons, summer tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, radishes and fresh basil leaves.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 10
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 6
- Category: Salad
- Cuisine: Italian
- 1 fat garlic clove, smashed
- 1 medium hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, sliced to 1/2-inch thick half moons
- 1 bunch radishes, sliced ( or sub 1 bell pepper)
- 3 tablespoons Red Wine or Champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in an extra large skillet over med-low heat. Add the smashed garlic clove and swirl the oil around with it for 1-2 minutes until fragrant and the garlic is golden. Remove the garlic from the pan and add the cubes of bread tossing to coat well. Season the bread with salt and pepper. Toast the bread in the delicious smelling garlic oil, stirring often for about 10 minutes until beautifully golden.
While the bread is toasting in the pan, prep the veggies and place in a large serving bowl.
When the bread is golden and crispy let it cool for a few minutes, then add it to the bowl.
Drizzle the salad with olive oil, vinegar, lemon, garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss until well combine. Taste, adjust salt, and add a bit more olive oil if necessary.
Let this stand 15-20 minutes before serving. Right before serving toss in the torn basil leaves.
This salad is especially delicious with summer vine-ripened tomatoes. Feel free to add other veggies. Mini mozzarella balls are nice here, as well as capers.