panzanella salad recipe from Tuscany

This is the authentic panzanella salad recipe: the Tuscan summer bread salad made with with fresh tomatoes and red onions.

panzanella salad
panzanella salad recipe

WHAT IS PANZANELLA

The authentic Panzanella salad is a bread salad made with Tuscan stale bread (traditionally without salt), tomatoes, and red onions.

The original recipe prescribes soaking the bread in water for half an hour or so and then squeezing out – very carefully – all the liquid. The result is breadcrumb-y. 

Most often, I simply add the cubed bread and let it rest with the other ingredients. This keeps the crunchiness: a plus, at least for me.

You can enrich the salad with boiled eggs or canned tuna to add a little protein.

panzanella salad in Tuscany

A SUMMER PIATTO UNICO DISH

This is a recipe from the Piatto Unico Project of the Southern Summer Simposio, an Italian recipe, travel, and culture book series. The project is a collection of easy one-dish-meal Italian summer recipes. Learn more about the issue here!

panzanella salad served for lunch with a summer Tuscan view

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panzanella salad recipe on the Simposio magazine laying on a cooking table
panzanella salad in a white bowl next to the Simposio Italian cooking magazine

panzanella salad recipe

Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 40 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 472 kcal
Author Claudia Rinaldi | Gourmet Project

Ingredients

  • 7 oz Tuscan or casareccio stale bread - 200 gr
  • 2 tomatoes - medium
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves - five to seven leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt

Instructions

  1. If you want a crunchy salad, simply dice the bread. If you want the classic salad, soak it in water for at least thirty minutes. Then squeeze it very, very well: you should get a breadcrumb-like consistency.

  2. Cut the tomatoes in small pieces, more or less the same size of the bread.

  3. Peel and thinly slice the onion.

  4. Coarsely chop the basil leaves with your hands.

  5. Place the tomatoes, the onion, and the basil leaves in a large bowl. Season with the vinegar, one to two tablespoons of olive oil, and salt to your taste.

  6. Add the bread and mix well.

  7. Rest fifteen to thirty minutes at room temperature - or in the fridge if it is summer and a hot day.

Recipe Notes

If you have fresh bread, toast it a few minutes in a very hot oven.

You can add a thinly sliced cucumber, boiled eggs, or canned tuna.

Enjoy your Tuscan panzanella!

Claudia

Claudia Rinaldi

Claudia Rinaldi

Author

Digital artisan and curator of the Simposio cookbook series; maker of Gourmet Project, an Italian food, travel and culture blog; and life in Italy relator through the Italian Colors Newsletter. Claudia lives in magnificent Rome. She loves pasta, “melanzane alla parmigiana”, hats, suitcases and airports, Christmas, and books. Her mission is to show you that Italy is so much more than spaghetti and clichés, but a land of endless traditions, flavors, and heritage.

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