Looking to spruce up a traditional Panzanella salad? Here’s a Grilled Panzanella Salad with a twist! Today I grilled some veggies and added a few other untraditional ingredients for a delicious change to the classic Panzanella.
Panzanella salad is a Tuscan bread salad and it’s really quite simple to make. The classic version is simply a combination of cut up tomatoes (sometimes onion) and bread tossed in a vinaigrette dressing. More modern versions of this salad include cucumbers, bell peppers, capers or really, just about any veggie you like.
To put a spin on the traditional Panzanella salad I decided to grill some colorful peppers, red onion, and fennel. While I made the croutons in a skillet, you could grill the bread as well. I also added olives and little mozzarella balls (I bet burrata would be delicious) for fun.
Grilled Panzanella Salad is perfect for lunch or serve it up with your favorite grilled meat this summer.Print
Grilled Panzanella Salad
A delicious Tuscan bread salad with a twist!
- 4 C. crusty bread, cubed*
- 1 Tbls. butter
- 2–3 Tbls. olive oil
- 1 whole clove garlic, peeled
- 1 pint, grape tomatoes, cut in halves
- 1/2 English cucumber, quartered and sliced
- 3 slices of red onion, 1/4″ thick slices
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced thick to grill
- 1/2 each orange, red, yellow bell pepper
- 1/4 c. capers, drained
- 20 black olives, sliced in half (use as many as you like)
- 20 small mozzarella balls, cut in half (I used the marinated mozzarella balls in a big tub from Costco)
- handful of torn basil leaves
- 6 Tbls. olive oil
- 2 Tbls. white wine vinegar
- Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp. dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- (or use your favorite bottled vinaigrette)
- Prepare vinaigrette:
- In small bowl combine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, dijon, salt & pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil until the mixture is emsulfied. Set aside in refrigerator until ready to use.
- Make croutons:
- In large skillet, melt butter in olive oil. Add garlic clove (I like to hit it with the back of my knife to mash it a bit) and sauté a minute or so to flavor the oil. Remove garlic clove. Add bread cubes and toss to coat well. Continue to toss to toast the bread. Once bread is toasted, remove from pan and set aside.
- Make salad:
- Heat grill pan (or BBQ) and grill onion slices, fennel slices and bell peppers. Set aside to cool, then cut into chunks and add to large bowl.
- Add cucumbers, tomatoes, capers, olives, mozzarella cheese, basil, bread (croutons), vinaigrette and toss well to combine.
The longer the salad sits, the softer the bread will become. Let it sit as long as you like to get the texture you prefer. I like to let it sit about a half hour or so before eating but still enjoy the leftovers the next day!
*Try a ciabatta (my favorite) or other crusty, country style bread. Instead of making croutons in a pan on the stove you could toss the bread cubes in olive oil, lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast the bread in the oven at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes (remember to toss them halfway to toast both sides). I prefer the flavor of the garlic, olive oil, butter combination I get when making them in the pan on the stove.