Panzanella salad

Let’s start with what we received from this weeks’s share of our CSA from Plato’s Harvest Organic Farm.

new this week were green peppers, scallions & asian eggplant
AND.. we were able to pick the gladiola!!!
oops…. here they are..
and in our bread share??? Stuffed garlic bread!! OH. Yeah.
And now, my favorite recipe of the week~
 Funny word, eh?  When I first heard this I conjured up visions of brightly colored flamingo dancers. ( I have a wild imagination)

Panzanella is an Italian bread salad.  What, bread, in a salad? Oh, yeah. Trust me.
I based my recipe on Ina Garten’s Panzanella, but I did make changes, basically because I was trying to work with what I had.
I started by cubing the bread (day -old bread.. if you don’t have any, you can buy day old bread usually for half price in the bakery section of your grocery store~ use something rustic :)) & sautéing in in olive oil over medium heat…(don’t be afraid to add more olive oil while sautéing, you want the cubes to develop a crust)  seasoning with salt & pepper. Let cool.
There are many recipes out there, and not all of them have you saute the bread, but I find that the little scrumdilicious crust that it makes helps keep the bread form getting soggy.
In a large bowl, I added
a pint of assorted cherry tomatoes, halved
a few cucumbers, cubed
a red onion, cubed
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 of a jalapeno, diced  ( I made this last week, prior to bell peppers, if you don;t like the bit on heat, feel free to omit)
I seasoned this all with salt & pepper
what’s great about Panzanella is that you really could add whatever veggies ( that you would eat raw) that you happened to have on hand 🙂
I made a dressing of :
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup Extra-Virgin Olive oil
Kosher salt & Freshly ground pepper
you can make this in a bowl by mixing everything except for the olive oil together then slowly stream the olive oil in, whisking vigorously..
You can put all of the ingredients in a blender & whirl away..
or if you happen to have an immersion blender with one of those little mini food processor thingys.. well that works just perfectly.

this is an amazing little invention. Clearly on of my favorite kitchen gadgets.

salad dressing yumminess!

what I especially love is that I usually tend to not use all of the dressing in a recipe, (calorie-counitng & all) ~ so I just pop the top on & save it in the fridge right in it’s own container 🙂

Ok…back to the salad…

You can also make this dish ahead of time, keeping the dressing, the veggies & the bread separate until about 1/2 hour before serving.
at which time, simply toss them all together,( I use half of the dressing to start, then add more as needed) add a few tablespoons of capers, and some shredded basil leaves & a grating of lemon zest.
Let sit for about 30 minutes..


Now because I am a cheese NUT, I crumbled some ricotta salata over top. You could really add whatever cheese that you’d like, feta, goat cheese, even cheddar. Or, you could just omit it.I LOVED this dish. I served it with grilled steak tips and it went so well together. My only complaint about it was that went I went up for seconds, it was all gone 😦

Lucky for me, I just *happen* to have all of the ingredients on hand to make it again today 🙂



  1. Shelley, Everything looks so good. The way you write is amazing. Really peaks my interest. You really should either have your own show or a column in a food magazine. You have too much talent not to reach more people. I'm really very proud of you. Happy cooking!!! Love you, Mom ps. love the new stove



  1. […] Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender & blend. I used this. […]


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