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Summer Panzanella Salad

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  • Prep 10 min
  • Total 4 hr 10 min
  • Servings 4
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Cubes of bread and fresh mozzarella round out this summery vegetarian salad.
by: Girl vs Dough
Updated Oct 4, 2017
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  • 4 cups cubed day-old bread or fresh bread, toasted*
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large cucumber, seeded and cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 large red onion or 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, torn into pieces
  • 1/4 cup quality olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes, or mozzarella pearls


  • 1
    To toast fresh bread: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place cubed bread on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toast bread in oven 5 to 10 minutes or until just barely toasted and no longer soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool before tossing with remaining ingredients.
  • 2
    In a large bowl, toss bread, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper until just combined. Let sit 4 hours at room temperature to marinate.
  • 3
    In a small saucepan over high heat, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil. Reduce heat to a very low simmer and cook vinegar for 10 to 15 minutes until the liquid reduces by half and is syrupy. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • 4
    Toss mozzarella cubes with salad; serve immediately drizzled with balsamic reduction.

Nutrition Information

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • When I finally have my first backyard garden, I’m going to build it around this Summer Panzanella Salad. You think I’m kidding. But when you take one bite of this unbelievable deliciousness – chock-full of fresh veggies like cucumber, red onion, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil tossed with bread, cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and magic – you’ll understand. It’s all I need in this world to make me happy (well, that and coffee). This salad originally was born out of a mistake, as many good things are. But I have to say, I’m glad it happened! Because otherwise, I wouldn’t know the wonder that is a panzanella salad, often made with stale bread and fresh tomatoes soaked in olive oil and tossed with veggies. I added a little fresh mozzarella cheese, basil and a balsamic vinegar reduction for a caprese-ish feel, and that was the End of Life As I Knew It. From then on, this salad would be a staple in my summer menu. And it never gets old (well, the bread does, but that’s the point. ANYWAY…). What I love most about this recipe is how substantial it is, but with very little effort. It’s the kind of recipe that’s custom-made for summer: No-cook, no-fuss and celebrates all the fresh flavors of the season. You can serve it as a main dish and even the staunchest salad-haters will probably turn into salad softies after one bite, but it also pairs well as a side dish to a light dinner. As for those who love salad anyway, well, welcome to salad nirvana. There’s no turning back now. You might as well start building that garden, too.
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