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Summer Panzanella

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Summer panzanella is one of my favorite ways to use summer’s fresh produce! It’s light, refreshing, and it’s basically the best kind of salad ever because it involves crunchy bread and lots of textures and flavors!

A delightfully light and refreshing summer panzanella salad for your dinner table! This is a great way to use up all the abundant summer produce and a great dinner side item or even as an entree!

Okay, so I’ve been OBSESSED with panzanella this summer.

I know it’s been around for ages but this summer, I’m on a grilled/crunchy bread kick and have wanted to incorporate it in all my meals.

This summer panzanella checks off every item on my list: summer produce, grilled bread, basil, and cheese.

You literally toss this all together with olive oil, salt, and pepper and it makes it the most light and refreshing salad for summer!

You can make this ahead of time (more information on that below) or you can make it and eat it immediately!

Summer is almost over so take advantage and make this summer panzanella now and see why I’m so obsessed!

A delightfully light and refreshing summer panzanella salad for your dinner table! This is a great way to use up all the abundant summer produce and a great dinner side item or even as an entree!

What is panzanella?

Panzanella is a Tuscan chopped salad of bread and tomatoes that is popular in the summer.

Over time, everyone has created their own versions of panzanella salad. It’s basically a bread salad.

75% croutons and 25% produce.

I can stand behind that ratio because I’m always the one to pick off the croutons off a salad, haha

Can you make panzanella ahead of time?

This depends on what type of bread you like.

I love my bread crunchy and not soggy so I tend to make my panzanella salad and immediately eat it.

Plus, eating it immediately lets you get the warmth of the bread distributed throughout the produce.

However, I know people like to prep because you may be bringing this to a party or potluck.

Personally, if I were to make this ahead of time, I would put everything in separate bowls — probably all the produce in one and the toasted bread in another.

Then put it together right before the party.

However, if you want to toss it all together ahead of time, that won’t be bad either but just know that the bread at the bottom of the bowl might end up being a bit soggy.

A delightfully light and refreshing summer panzanella salad for your dinner table! This is a great way to use up all the abundant summer produce and a great dinner side item or even as an entree!

Panzanella for two

Jason and I ate this whole salad that you see pictured above.

It LOOKS like a lot of food but I think it’s because of the big chunks of bread.

Certainly, everyone’s serving size is a bit different.

Jason and I can eat A LOT whereas some people might not be able to eat the whole thing.

Whether you’re eating this panzanella for two or six, the fact of the matter remains: summer panzanella is 100% needed on your summer menu!

Variations of panzanella

If you don’t like all the ingredients I put in my summer panzanella, feel free to sub out and sub in whatever you like. I just picked a bunch of summer’s best produce.

Watch me make this summer panzanella here:

If you like this summer panzanella recipe, you may like these:

Summer Panzanella
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

This summer panzanella is a refreshing and light summer salad that you will absolutely get hooked on! It's a great way to use up all that abundant summer produce!

Servings: 3 -4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups herbed focaccia bread, cubed
  • 1 cup quartered cucumbers
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced into half moons
  • 3/4 cup red grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 3/4 cup yellow grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 8 ounces mozzarella balls
  • leaves Handful of fresh basil, julienned
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place cubed bread onto a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake cubed bread on the middle rack for 10 minutes, until lightly toasted and crisp.
  4. In a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients and toss to mix up. Drizzle more olive oil on top and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

We've grilled the bread (sliced the loaf in half and drizzled olive oil, salt and pepper on top) before but we also have toasted this in the oven. Either way you choose to do it is fine.

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Posted on August 14, 2018

dinner for two by julie wampler

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  1. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel
    08/29/2016 at 8:01 am

    I’ll take mine with extra cheese and croutons please ;)

  2. Marla Meridith
    08/29/2016 at 8:50 am

    WOW! Such a beautiful, fresh salad!

  3. Maria
    08/29/2016 at 9:18 am

    My favorite!

  4. Heather Christo
    08/29/2016 at 3:10 pm

    I always think that navigating friendships can be tricky when unpleasant circumstances like that come up- but you are so right about Karma and about always trying to do the right thing. Glad that things have worked out the way you wanted them to, and by the way this salad looks absolutely delicious!

  5. Gaby Dalkin
    08/29/2016 at 4:54 pm

    I will have to try this before summer is over!

  6. Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today
    08/30/2016 at 4:34 am

    I am so happy that I read this post. I had a similar situation and it made me so sad and disappointed. I guess it just happens from time to time, we’re only humans. But it still hurts. Thank you for sharing. And the salad is so beautiful.

    • Julie
      08/30/2016 at 7:01 am

      It definitely happens and we can only learn from it. Thank you, friend <3

  7. Stephen Rennick
    09/06/2016 at 2:45 pm

    Very nice presentation and yummy recipe. Thanks for the pride you take in your blog RECIPES. Honestly, I’m not sure about the banter, but it sounds like you really got your feelings hurt.
    Rejoice in the fact that you are an artful cook, and willing to generously share your talent. Best wishes………

  8. stanp
    05/08/2017 at 7:16 pm

    Have a family picnic coming up and this will make a nice addition to the menu.

  9. Gaby Dalkin
    05/19/2017 at 12:31 pm

    So many gorgeous colors and flavors!!

  10. barbara
    08/31/2017 at 5:39 pm

    Salad was AMAZING! Such a great summer meal xoxo!

  11. Christeen
    08/17/2018 at 12:26 pm

    This looks yummy and going on my make list this weekend. I’m going to put a portion aside (separating the bread and veggies) for my daughters lunch on Monday.

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