Panzanella is a traditional Italian tomato and bread salad using stale bread with extra virgin olive oil, vinegar and salt.
Panzanella is a simple peasant dish which is popular in Italy, using the bounty of tomatoes during the summer, and stale bread which is almost a staple in any Italian kitchen.
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There’s not even a need for a real recipe as it is so simple, but I know that many people just want to have something in writing, so I will add one below.
This is the same type of salad that I usually make in the summer with homegrown tomatoes, but instead of dipping our bread into the juice that’s left in the bowl at the end, Panzanella uses stale bread cubes to soak up the tomato juice (oil and vinegar, too) in the salad. Some areas in Italy will soak the bread with water beforehand, but I don’t think that method is quite as tasty.
As always, it is of utmost importance to use fresh tomatoes (homegrown or organic, if possible) along with very good quality extra virgin olive oil and wine vinegar. Your panzanella won’t taste anything close to authentic if you try to use Italian dressing from the grocery store.
Ingredients for about 4 servings
- 3 or 4 medium to large tomatoes
- one or two pieces of stale Italian style bread, cubed
- a few fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
- cucumber, sliced (optional)
- sweet onion, cut into pieces (optional)
- about 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, good quality
- 1 or 2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar
- about 3/4 teaspoon of Kosher or sea salt
Place the bread into a serving bowl which will accommodate the rest of the ingredients.
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Serving Size: one bowl
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 219 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 768mg Carbohydrates: 22g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 11g Protein: 4g
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