Originating from farmers in 16th century Tuscany, panzanella salad was made with ingredients pulled straight from the ground. This summer favorite relies on simple fresh ingredients to create a salad that is truly delicious. But, I have some good news for you: this is a bread salad. Yes, you heard that right. A bread salad. With the anticipation of tomato and peach season, this is the perfect way to showcase seasonal summer produce and of course, bread.
2-3 tomatoes (preferably heirloom), diced
½ of red onion, thinly sliced
1 loaf of slightly stale bread (Italian, ciabatta, or baguette), cut into 1-inch cubes
¼ cup fresh basil, torn
½ cucumber, halved and sliced
½ ball of mozzarella
1 peach, diced
6 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar/champagne vinegar
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp salt, pepper to taste
Chop the bread into 1-inch cubes. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan and toast the bread over medium to high heat until golden and crispy.
Whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper until well incorporated. Combine the chopped tomatoes, peaches, red onion, cucumber, mozzarella, basil, and toasted bread in a large bowl. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss well to combine. Let the panzanella sit for 10-20 minutes, tossing occasionally to allow the bread to soak up the dressing prior to serving.