Here’s one toasty salad to give Summer a proper sendoff: The classic Italian tomato bread salad known as PANZANELLA! Can I get a high five from my fellow Panzanellans?
I love this dish so much not only because it’s so quick and easy to throw together and combines a few of my all time favorite ingredients like fresh basil, tomatoes, garlic, and…BREAD in a simple and gorgeous flavor that has no need of complicated ingredients, but also because it transforms stale or toasted bread to the softest and most flavorful thing in the world!
Check out how the tomatoes, balsamic, and olive oil work their juicy magic on this crusty bread and tell me if you wouldn’t let your bread go stale so you could use it to make this!
This salad goes great with grilled anything but makes a great main dish all on its own. You can add a little pesto coated shredded chicken on top like I did pictured here, leave it out and eat it as is, or add your own additions-it’s delicious no matter how you adapt it! A little taste of Tuscany is waiting…
6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn or rolled and sliced into ribbons
2 tablespoons small capers or chopped large capers
6 cups stale or toasted French or Ciabatta bread, cut into bite size chunks
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 cups shredded cooked chicken, optional
1/4 cup fresh basil pesto, optional
Combine all salad ingredients except for the bread in a bowl, tossing well. Add a pinch of kosher salt and a couple grinds fresh black pepper. Add in bread cubes once mixture has combined and tomatoes have released their juices after sitting a few minutes.
Mix vinaigrette ingredients together and pour over salad and bread mixture, tossing well to combine. Divide mixture into
Toss pesto and shredded chicken together in a bowl, if adding. Spoon the pesto on top of the Panzanella salad and serve!
Enjoy this recipe or have questions? Feel free to leave a comment!
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