This classic Italian salad combines two of my favorite things as the star ingredients – bread and tomatoes. This is the perfect salad to make at peak tomato season. I love to grab Heirloom tomatoes from the farmer’s market, and this is a great recipe that highlights their flavor. I also add in some arugula, which is not in the traditional version of Panzanella, so this is my take on the Tuscan stale bread salad.
Because I’m a sourdough baker, I almost always have a loaf of day-old bread around. But you can also get any classic rustic loaf from the store, and chop it into large bread cubes.
Then lightly toast the bread on the stove.
Once toasted, combine with tomatoes, arugula, and shallot. Then make the oil and vinegar dressing and toss to combine.
I like to finish the top with shaved parmesan, but you can also use a hard Italian cheese like asiago and shave it right on top. Finish it with some flaky salt like Maldon.
For a more classic version of Panzanella, you can omit the arugula and just add in a bit of basil.
For a perfect Italian summer meal, you can also pair with the Fig Ricotta cake!
Bread and tomato salad
- 5 cups rustic bread cubes cut into 1 inch cubes
- 4-5 large tomatoes such as heirloom
- 1/2 shallot
- 8 oz arugula
- 1/4 cup parmesan, shaved
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp flaky sea salt such as Maldon
Toast the bread cubes in a pan on medium heat until all sides are lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Add to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into large slices and add to the bowl.
Slice the shallot in thin slivers and add to the salad.
In a measuring cup, mix the oil, vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add into salad and toss to combine.
Add shaved parmesan and flaky salt to the top and serve.