I've cooked my way through all 264 recipes
in The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook!

January 6, 2011

Panzanella (p. 86)

Panzanella is Italian Bread Salad, which I had never heard of before. Basically, it's a salad mixed with soggy bread, which makes it sound gross (it's not.) It's supposed to kind of replicate how you might wipe up excess salad dressing with crusty bread; this way the bread is just already combined.

I had most of a neo-Tuscan boule leftover from dinner a few nights ago, so that made the base of this recipe. Start by putting stale bread in water to soften it.

Once soft, squeeze the water out of the bread and remove the crusts. Tear into chunks and place them in the bottom of a bowl.

Then just layer in the rest of the salad. You could really put in any salad fixings you love, but I just followed the fairly basic recipe; chopped tomatoes, thinly sliced red onions (my fav.) and chopped cucumbers.

The dressing is a mixture of olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper. Beat these together and pour over the salad, mixing all the ingredients together with your hands. Set the salad aside to sit for 30 minutes for the flavors to develop and then serve.

Full disclosure -- I halved the recipe but forgot to halve the bread, so this was very bread heavy. A little too much bread, really. I shoved some from my serving to the side and after that it was pretty delicious. I like how few ingredients were in the salad, and the dressing added a zing.

I'll take another serving for lunch today, but am not sure how well it'll hold up for a second day.

English cucumber -- $2.79 (used about half)
tomatoes -- $3.30
red onion -- $1.41 (used half)
red wine vinegar -- $5.99 (I finally used the last of my previous bottle, so this one will definitely last me forever)
Total Cost of Panzanella: $13.39 (this was only expensive because I needed to buy a new jar of vinegar)
($3.35 per serving)


  1. I LOVE panzanella. Sara Foster has one for cornbread panzanella with super fresh tomatoes. It's a summertime favorite.

  2. I am relatively new to your blog, but wanted you to know how much I enjoy visiting here. I love the food and recipes you feature and today's recipe is no exception. I hope you had a wonderful holiday and that the new year brings a full measure of good things your way. Blessings...Mary

  3. I love a good panzanella salad and the good European cucumber just makes it even better. So healthy too.


Thanks for dropping by! Love, Katrina.