Family Friendly Recipes

Panzanella Salad

Panzanella Salad
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Panzanella Salad

Panzanella Salad is a Tuscan and Umbrian chopped salad, and is typically made with stale bread croutons, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and fresh basil.  This salad is also popular in other parts of central Italy and is perfect as a fresh summer salad.

I make my own croutons, but you could buy seasoned croutons to make this easier.  If you make them, using stale Ciabatta bread is a good choice for these.  To make the croutons, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  I use stale Ciabatta buns, sliced in half.  Spread butter on top of each half.  Sprinkle each half with garlic powder and add some minced garlic on top.  Bake them in the oven, watching them carefully until they are a light golden brown, approximately 4-7 minutes.  Let them cool and dice the crunchy bread into 1/2 to 1 inch croutons.  Then, in a skillet, add several tablespoons of olive oil, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, along with a little bit of garlic powder. Sauté the croutons, so they soak up the flavored olive oil.  Set aside to cool.

Next, peel your cucumbers.  Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise.  Remove the seeds and cut the cucumbers into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices.  Place in a large bowl.  Slice your grape tomatoes in half lengthwise and add to the bowl.

Core and seed your yellow bell pepper.  Thinly slice the yellow bell pepper and place in the bowl.  Cut a peeled red onion in half.  Thinly slice half of the red onion and add to the bowl.   Mix thoroughly.

To chiffonade your basil, layer 3 to 4 basil leaves, stems removed.  Roll the stack of leaves tightly.  Thinly slice the roll.  Then separate the ribbons.  Add the basil ribbons to the bowl and mix thoroughly.

Serve in individual salad bowls and shave some Fontinella Cheese over the top of each salad.

Panzanella Salad

You can dress this Panzanella Salad with oil and vinegar or your favorite Italian salad dressing.  I like to simply drizzle a good Aged Balsamic Vinegar over everything (see featured photo above).

Aged Balsamic Vinegar

If you like my Panzanella Salad recipe, please leave a comment and let me know what you think. If you made it, post your wonderful images on Instagram and tag me. Don’t forget to subscribe and you will be emailed each time I post a new recipe.

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Panzanella Salad

August 8, 2022
: 4-6 depending on serving size

Panzanella Salad

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Ingredients
  • 1 English cucumbers, peeled, seeded and sliced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • Ciabatta croutons
  • Fresh basil, chiffonade
  • Fontinella cheese, shavings
  • Aged Balsmaic Vinegar or Salad Dressing
Directions
  • Step 1 To make the croutons, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. I use stale Ciabatta buns, sliced in half. Spread butter on top of each half. Sprinkle each half with garlic powder and add some minced garlic on top. Bake them in the oven, watching them carefully until they are a light golden brown, approximately 4-7 minutes. Let them cool and dice the crunchy bread into 1/2 to 1 inch croutons. Then, in a skillet, add several tablespoons of olive oil, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, along with a little bit of garlic powder. Sauté the croutons, so they soak up the flavored olive oil. Set aside to cool.
  • Step 2 Next, peel your cucumbers. Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and cut the cucumbers into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Place in a large bowl.
  • Step 3 Slice your grape tomatoes in half lengthwise and add to the bowl.
  • Step 4 Core and seed your yellow bell pepper. Thinly slice the yellow bell pepper and place in the bowl.
  • Step 5 Cut a peeled red onion in half. Thinly slice half of the red onion and add to the bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  • Step 6 To chiffonade your basil, layer 3 to 4 basil leaves, stems removed. Roll the stack of leaves tightly. Thinly slice the roll. Then separate the ribbons.  Add the basil ribbons to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Step 7 Serve in individual salad bowls and shave some Fontinella Cheese over the top of each salad.

 

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