Classic and easy Panzanella salad


Classic and easy Panzanella salad

Panzanella salad is a typical dish of Italian cuisine, particularly of the Tuscany region, even if Tuscany with Umbria, Lazio, and Marche contend for its origin, offering slightly different versions but all recycled.

Not sure how to reuse dry bread? Toast it in a pan and make breadcrumbs, or create a tasty panzanella: it is a poor dish widespread in central Italy with easy variations, with more or less traditional tastes.

Panzanella salad is in fact a rustic preparation based on stale bread soaked in water (in some recipes it is bathed in water and vinegar for a more decisive note of acidity) and then squeezed, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, and basil, all seasoned with extra virgin olive oil. of olive, salt and white wine vinegar.

A tasty recovery recipe, Panzanella is a salad of stale bread and vegetables, a traditional dish particularly suitable for summer. Easy and quick to make, you just have to calculate the resting time so that the flavors blend at their best, it is perfect as an appetizer or for a quick and light lunch.

Panzanella salad is a poor dish of the peasant tradition, very simple but very tasty.

One of the most important rules is to use Tuscan bread, “unsalted”, without salt.

Panzanella salad: perfect on hot days

It is an easy and perfect recipe for the summer as you will find the tastiest tomatoes (choose them well ripe), because it does not require cooking and can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator. In fact, when it is hot, this bread and vegetable salad is excellent as an appetizer, aperitif or a real single dish.

Let it rest for the right amount of time and the result will benefit, the next day it is even tastier.

With stale bread you can make many delicious recipes, particularly pleasant in summer. A great classic like the caesar salad or the famous Tuscan tomato soup “pappa al pomodoro”.

A recommendation, do not use fresh bread, you will not get a good final result.

If you want other summer salad recipes, try these too:

But let’s go back to our Panzanella salad , get yourself a good stale bread, better if tasteless like the Tuscan one, the onion (I love that of Tropea) of the sweet seasonal tomatoes and the cucumbers that give it a touch of freshness … then season with vinegar, strictly Tuscan oil, salt and black pepper.

I guarantee you that in summer there is nothing fresher and tastier than a nice plate of Panzanella salad.

 Panzanella salad
Panzanella salad

Recipe Difficulty Level: easy Servings: 4


(to convert to UK metrics, click here)

  • 200 g (7 oz) of staled bread (possibly Tuscany bread)
  • 200 g (7 oz) of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 cucumber
  • Basil
  • 1 l (4 cups plus 3 tbsp) of water
  • 40 g (1½ oz) of vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper


Cut the bread into pieces and put it in a bowl.

Add enough water to wet the bread, and leave for 20-30 minutes. 

In the meantime, clean the onion and cut it into slices.

Cut the tomatoes and the cucumber into cubes.

Squeeze the bread with your hands to remove the water.

In a bowl, add the squeezed bread, tomatoes, cucumber and onion.

Add also some basil leaves, oil, salt, black pepper, and vinegar.

Mix it and let it rest for a couple of hours before serving it.

Your Panzanella salad is ready!

Enjoy! Buon appetito!

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