Originating from Tuscany, Panzanella Toscana is an Italian bread salad. This salad combines stale bread, ripe tomatoes, onions, and basil, dressed in extra virgin olive oil and a hint of vinegar. This salad is perfect for warm-weather gatherings and takes only 15 minutes to make.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine vinegar and water. Mix well to combine.
- Cut the bread into thick cubes. I recommended cutting the bread into smaller pieces to allow for faster soaking. Add the bread cubes into the bowl with the vinegar and water mixture. Use a spoon to help immerse the bread and ensure it is well-soaked.
- Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters if using cherry tomatoes or into chunks or cubes if using regular tomatoes. Slice the onions and place them, along with the tomatoes, in a separate mixing bowl.
- Drain and gently squeeze the bread with your hands to remove excess moisture.
- Crumble the bread into the bowl with the onions and tomatoes.
- Season the mixture with salt and pepper, then add extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil.
- Mix everything well to combine all the ingredients.
- Cover the bowl and allow the Panzanella Toscana to rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before serving. This resting period allows the flavors to meld together.
- Just before serving, give the salad a toss. Serve the Panzanella Toscana and garnish with additional fresh basil leaves, if desired. Serve at room temperature.
- Use slightly stale or day-old bread for the best texture. You can lightly toast fresh bread cubes in the oven to mimic this. Avoid soft breads like sandwich bread or dinner rolls, as they become too mushy when soaked.
- Use ripe tomatoes. Heirloom or cherry tomatoes can add extra color and sweetness.
- Let the salad sit for at least 20 minutes before serving to allow the bread cubes to absorb the dressing and tomato juices evenly.
- Tear basil leaves just before adding them to release their fresh, herbal notes.
- Enjoy Panzanella on the day it’s prepared for the best flavor. If you have any leftovers, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. The bread may become softer as it absorbs moisture.
- Freshen up leftovers with a drizzle of olive oil and a gentle toss before serving.
- Serving Size: 2
- Calories: 549
- Sugar: 13.6g
- Fat: 16.2g
- Carbohydrates: 84.2g
- Protein: 15.8g
Keywords: salad, summer, italian, panzanella, panzanella toscana,