Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad!! My ultimate summer meal. It's so effortless and is a really excellent excuse to eat deliciously crispybutnotquite sourdough bread with fresh tomatoes, crunchy red onion and refreshing cucumber. All drizzled with an easy peezy red wine vinaigrette of course!
I'm going to state right off the bat that although the traditional recipe was created as a way to get rid of stale bread, I use fresh bread. I like the texture quite a bit more when you it dry out in the oven for 15 minutes, tossed with a little olive oil and salt. Just a better over all crunch. Also, there's just no way a brand new rustic sourdough baguette is going to last even a few hours in my house, let alone over night.
Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad is just SO easy. If you use already dried aka stale sourdough bread (or a crusty rustic of your choice), there's actually no cooking. Dicing, sitting, eating. Yes please! If you use fresh bread the way I do, you get even better flavor with minimal effort. The only extra step? 15 minutes in the oven. I ate about half the bread cubes once baked before they even made it to the salad bowl. No regrets. They do taste wonderful though once they've infused some of the juices in the salad. Most recipes will say to let the salad sit for up to 4 hours before serving. I prefer about 1 ½ hours, so the bread is still nice and crunchy on the inside and vinaigrette-y on the outside.
Also, don't you just LOVE the colors?? I have absolutely fallen in love with heirloom tomatoes this year. They can be tricky though. Quite frequently, they look great at the store and then you reach for one and discover its gone all squishy and gross. In case you didn't know, I cannot abide squishy tomatoes. So if they come in a plastic container (weird but sometimes they do), make sure to open it up and check them out or you might be massively disappointed when you get home. And we can't have that now can we? As you simply MUST have Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad this summer!!! ????????????Print
For the Salad
- 4 cups rustic sourdough baguette, cut into cubes
- 1 ½ lbs large heirloom tomatoes in varying colors, cut into bite sized chunks
- ½ lb heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cucumber, seeds removed, quartered and sliced
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch basil, cut chiffonade
For the Vinaigrette
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Pinch of salt and black pepper
- Preheat oven to 300˚F. Place bread cubes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt. Bake for 15 minutes, until dried out and crunchy. Remove and set aside to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss tomatoes, onion, and cucumber together. Set aside to rest while making the vinaigrette.
- Make the vinaigrette: Combine all ingredients and whisk together until thoroughly combined.
- Add the dried bread cubes and vinaigrette to the tomato mixture. Toss until thoroughly combined.
- Let the salad sit for at least a ½ hour, or up to 4 hours, to let dried bread infuse with the salad juices. Stir occasionally if desired to keep vinaigrette thoroughly mixed.
- Add basil chiffonade just before serving.