Panzanella salad is one of my favorite summertime dishes. Aside from the bread and cheese, I can pluck most of the ingredients right out of my garden, which makes it all the more delicious!
Like most of my recipes, there’s plenty of room for options; add what you have lying around, or omit what you don’t. The two things you must have to make it a “panzanella” salad are bread and tomatoes.
My son Will eats this salad with intention. He carefully combines 1 piece of bread, 1 piece of cheese, and 1 tomato; savoring every bite. A boy after my own heart.
On a Side Note
Before I get into the recipe, I have to add a little update from my Mother’s Day post. Despite the rain, I had an amazing day with Matt, the kids, and our dear friends, the Curleys. But what I wanted to share was this year’s homemade gift… because this one, well, it completes me.
Some girls want diamonds… some just want organization. Thank you Honey! And thank you to my amazing kids for the stellar paint job!
Now back to that delicious Panzanella salad!
- lettuce (mixed greens or leafy romaine both work well)
- bread (ciabatta, french bread, or whatever you have around)
- tomatoes (cherry, plum, and/or heirloom) cut into bite size pieces
- peppers (red or yellow) cut into bite size pieces
- fresh mozzarella or provolone cheese
- pesto (about 1/4 cup)
- balsamic vinegar
- olive oil
- 2 gloves garlic, minced
What to do:
- Preheat oven to “medium broil” or just “broil” (depending on your oven).
- In a bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, a couple dashes of balsamic vinegar, a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and salt & pepper (to taste). Set aside, but remember to mix it every few minutes while you’re preparing the rest of the salad.
- Cut bread into 1 inch chunks, place on baking sheet, and either brush or spray with olive oil.
- Put bread in oven. It should only take a couple minutes, so stay close. Once it’s “lightly toasted” remove from oven and set aside.
- Put pesto in a small bowl and add some olive oil (I do 1 part pesto, 1 part olive oil). Sometimes I omit the pesto all together; it’s all about options!
- Place lettuce on a platter or shallow salad bowl. Add chopped pepper, tomato mixture, mozzarella, and warm toasted bread.
- Just before serving, drizzle with balsamic oil, pesto and olive oil mixture (or just olive oil).