Traditional Panzanella or sometimes called panmolle is a Tuscan salad of stale bread and delicious sweet red tomatoes. It is rather simple and to the point chunks of soaked stale bread and tomatoes, sometimes also onions and fresh basil dressed with olive oil and vinegar.
Traditional Panzanella is also popular in other parts of central Italy. One thing you may not know about this dish is the fact Panzanella was based on onions, not tomatoes until the 20th century. So instead of these luscious red tomatoes, the onions would have been the base. Some folks might add other ingredients, our family isn’t always the true traditionalists with some recipes but we keep this one fairly basic.
- 6-7 large vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into large cubes or wedges
- 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 3 cups of stale but good quality Italian bread crusts removed and cubed
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup Italian extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch fresh basil stems removed, washed and spun dry, torn into pieces
- kosher Salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Leave the tomatoes out on the counter to become room temperature — you will find the best flavor at this temperature.
- In a large bowl combine the tomatoes and the bread.
- In a small bowl whisk together the garlic, vinegar, and oil.
- Pour the dressing over the bread salad and let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. Add the basil and salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine.
© Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.