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Summer Panzanella Salad (Tuscan bread salad)

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This traditional & easy summer panzanella salad is made with Italian bread, mozzarella, cucumber, cherry tomatoes & a twist of juicy peaches.

A large white bowl with chunks of golden crispy bread, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion slices, fresh basil, mozzarella and peaches.

Summer panzanella salad is like a fancier upgraded version of caprese salad. 

This tuscan bread salad recipe has all the same fresh summer ingredients except with the addition of golden and crusty chunks of Italian bread that soak up that delicious balsamic dressing.

It’s one of those quick and easy, just throw together recipes that’s effortless but amazingly delicious.

This easy Italian Panzanella salad is made with juicy tomatoes & peaches, cucumbers, basil, red onion, fresh mozzarella, buttery chunks of crusty Italian bread and a quick balsamic dressing.

It’s the perfect summer salad if I do say so myself…Enjoy it with a glass of wine and pretend your floating away on a gondola in Italy ;).

Speaking of summer…we’re almost into September can you believe it???

I’m not quite ready to give up summery recipes like my arugula & melon salad or grilled summer vegetable pasta.

At least Rhode Island is still pretty hot and humid, making September feel much farther away than it actually is.

A large white bowl filled with an easy tuscan panzanella salad made with bread, cucumbers, peaches, cherry tomatoes and balsamic dressing.

This easy panzanella salad is a healthy summer recipe to use up those fresh garden tomatoes, cucumbers and basil.

What’s in a traditional Tuscan panzanella salad?

  • Crusty or Stale Italian Bread such as Ciabatta

  • Tomatoes

  • Cucumbers

  • Onion

  • Fresh Basil

  • Balsamic Dressing

Summer panzanella salad is made with the traditional recipe ingredients with the addition of juicy peaches and chunks of fresh mozzarella cheese.

The bread is one of the star ingredients in the recipe.  You’ll want to use bread that is stale and crusty so it holds it shape and doesn’t become too soggy in the salad.

My favorite is ciabatta but you can also use sourdough or a regular country loaf.

I also like buttering and toasting the bread before adding it to the salad, giving it a nice buttery golden crust.

I could eat a whole bowl of just the bread by itself!

To toast the bread, just toss the pieces of bread with melted butter then evenly spread it onto a baking sheet.  Lightly drizzle it with olive oil and bake until golden and crispy.

A metal sheet pan with cubes of golden and toasty bread.

After toasting your bread, everything gets tossed together and the panzanella salad gets sprinkled with freshly chopped basil.

So easy and super quick to make.  It’s a great summer salad for lunch, dinner or a last minute summer cookout recipe.

I love the addition of the peaches in this version of panzanella salad because they add a little sweetness and summery-ness (I’m making up my own word), balancing out the acidity from the tomatoes and balsamic.

What to serve with panzanella salad:

For other easy, summer recipes:

Creamy Corn Chowder
Easy Grilled Pizza with Summer Squash
Summer Squash Lemon Risotto

Summer Panzanella salad

This traditional & easy summer panzanella salad is made with Italian bread, mozzarella, cucumber, cherry tomatoes & a twist of juicy peaches.
Course Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword easysummerrecipes, italianrecipes, panzanellasalad, summersalad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Author Wine a Little Cook A Lot

Ingredients

  • 1 Loaf of Crusty Bread such as Ciabatta or Sourdough, cut into 1" cubes
  • 5 tbsp Butter melted
  • Olive Oil for drizzling
  • 2 cups Cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 Cucumber peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup Red Onion thinly sliced (about 1/4 onion)
  • 2 Peaches cut into 1" chunks (peeling optional)
  • 8 oz Fresh Mozzarella cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Basil roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Parsley chopped

Balsamic Dressing

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 clove Garlic minced
  • 1 tsp Lemon Zest about 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cubes of bread in a large bowl, pour melted butter on top and toss to coat evenly, spread out onto a large baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and bake 20-25 minutes or until golden and crispy. Set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, make the dressing by mixing all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside
  • In a large bowl (you can use the same one you used for the bread), add tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, peaches and mozzarella. Add in toasted bread and dressing and toss to combine. Sprinkle with basil and parsley and serve immediately

Notes

*To make ahead, prepare all ingredients keeping the bread separate from other ingredients until ready to serve.


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