If you’re looking for a salad that incorporates summer’s best vegetables and herbs, look no further than this Tuscan-Style Panzanella Recipe.
An Italian Favorite – Tuscan-Style Panzanella Recipe
I had the pleasure of presenting a number of my favorite veggie recipes this last weekend at a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) event at HighCross Farms, located in Campbellsport, Wisconsin.
What I love about experiences like this is that I get an opportunity to meet not only the special farming families involved in changing the course of local families’ diets, one organic veggie at a time, but also those folks, like me, who are keenly interested in feeding their families the best produce that Mother Earth can provide.
So, when I came home and started unpacking my food, I realized that I had leftovers of vegetables not used in any of the recipes.
The solution? Tuscan-Style Panzanella.
Why this salad? Well, to start, I like the idea of using up extra veggies and not letting them go to waste. And, especially when the veggies are already prepared (meaning: chopped, diced and sliced) it was a no-brainer for me to put them all together for this fabulous (and super healthy) salad.
Panzanella has a long history of being made by Italians–further back than the 16th century. In fact, it’s rumored that there was even a song by 16th century artist and poet, Bronzino, who gave accolades to this dish in a most robust way.
Now traditionalists will argue that true Panzanella should be made only with onions, bread and tomatoes, while other folks like to add more veggie goodness, depending upon what’s on hand at the moment.
I’m with the second crowd.
In fact, I’ve made this recipe for years and can honestly say that I rarely make this recipe the same twice. And, this goes for the bread that’s one of the key ingredients in this recipe. I’ve used stale, toasted, and fresh crusty bread and even large croutons alongside the myriad of veggies.
I like to top it with either a simple oil and vinegar or my French Dijon and Garlic Vinaigrette. Either way is deliciously simple to do and assembling the salad is just a one-bowl meal-deal–which for us summer lovers, makes for an easy-breezy dinner for sure.
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Want to ‘gild the lily’ of this Panzanella recipe? Add large grated slices of parmesan to top the salad. This is done by using a potato peeler and pulling the blade toward you to create “wisps” of parmesan.
It’s best if you serve this salad immediately. But if you are planning on eating it later, don’t add the bread until you are ready to dress the salad.
This Tuscan-Style Panzanella Salad Recipe easily feeds one or a crowd in a jiffy. Delicioso! Enjoy!
Tuscan-Style Panzanella Recipe
- 4 cups tomatoes chopped
- 1 cup red onions sliced
- 2 cups cucumbers sliced
- 1 cup green peppers chopped
- 4 cups bread stale, toasted, fresh--chopped into small bites
- 2 cups mozzarella fresh, sliced, quartered
- 2 cups salami quartered (optional) Dried cured is great for this recipe.
- 1/4 cup basil chopped finely
- French Dijon and Garlic Vinaigrette (Link in Recipe Notes)
Assemble salad in a large bowl with all ingredients. Toss well with vinaigrette. Serve chilled. Enjoy!
Recipe Link: French Dijon and Garlic Vinaigrette - http://wisconsinhomemaker.com/french-dijon-and-garlic-vinaigrette/