Monday, 18 February 2013

Panzanella / Bread Salad...the KING of salads in my books!!

If your husband runs away at the mere mention of  salad, you have to make Panzanella...if you are in one of those "kitchen is closed today" mood, you have to make Panzanella...if you are in one of those carbs overload but still want to pretend to eat healthy otherwise will feel guilty mood, you have to make Panzanella...the excuses could be plenty but bottom cannot not make Panzanella!! 😊

Italian Bread Salad mmskitchenbites

Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)


Bread, any 2-3 day old crusty bread, 200 to 300gms
• Garlic cloves, 1-2
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 tbsp
• Ripe Juicy Tomatoes, roughly chopped into bite size pieces, about 600gms
• Cucumbers, peeled and cut into bite size pieces, ½ large (optional, I used to add when I just started making this salad and now I more often than not skip it)
• Red or Yellow pepper, cut into bite size pieces, 1 medium (again optional, I usually add only if I have some lying around)
• Red Onion, sliced thinly into half moons, ½ medium
• Fresh Basil leaves, coarsely chopped, about ½ cup


• Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 6 tbsp
• Aged Balsamic vinegar or Red Wine vinegar, 2 tbsp (start with 2 tbsp and add about 1 tbsp more if needed)
• Salt, to taste
• Pepper, to taste


Whisk olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. 

Add tomatoes, onions, cucumber and peppers.Toss well so that all vegetables are coated well with the dressing.

Cover with a cling film and let rest for at least 30 minutes to an hour.

Vinegar to oil ratio is 1: 3. Too much vinegar will overpower the tomatoes so start with 2 tbsp vinegar and add another tablespoon only if needed after the salad has rested for a bit. I do a taste test once the tomatoes have had a chance to rest and have released their juices.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C.

Rub the bread lightly with garlic cloves and cut into bite size cubes.

Toss with 1 tbsp oil and spread the bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake until dry and lightly coloured for 12-15 minutes and set aside to cool.

Tick Tock Tick Tock!! Once the tomatoes etc have rested…

Add the toasted bread cubes and chopped basil leaves to the tomatoes and toss well.

Taste and add a little more salt, pepper, vinegar or oil, if needed.

Everyone says to let the salad rest for 15-20 minutes before serving so that the bread absorbs all the juices...but, I serve immediately so that the bread still has some texture.


  • You can add 1 minced garlic clove to the dressing instead of rubbing the garlic on the bread. 

*Picture updated 22nd June'17


  1. Brilliant!!!! Brilliant!!! Taaliyan!!!
    Ab Fedex some to me NOW!!!

    1. shukriya shukria!! off i go to the courier office NOW!!!

  2. I have not heard of Panzanella.Thanks for the heads up.