I guess you can say this Tuscan Panzanella Salad is authentic… it’s the exact recipe I made while at a cooking class in Tuscany last month! It couldn’t be any easier to make and the simplicity of ingredients and flavors come together to create a delightful, simple salad. Perfect for warm summer days!
If you follow me on Instagram you know I spent 10 glorious days in Italy recently with my youngest son, Colin. He works for Indagare, a membership based luxury travel company in NYC, and I was fortunate to accompany him on this amazing trip! It was incredible. Food and wine was abundant not to mention delicious, and the accommodations were all 5-star. However, the best part of the trip was spending time with my son! And… the cooking class in Tuscany.
One of my bucket list items was taking a cooking class in Tuscany. It was everything I had imagined it to be! Even better that Colin and I were the only two in the class and spent several hours with one of the amazing chefs at the Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco. This property was one of my favorite places we stayed on the trip. Absolutely beautiful. In the cooking class we made this Tuscan Panzanella Salad, pici pasta, meat sauce, and biscotti with a zabaglione sauce. I’ll share those recipes in the future when I attempt to make them.
The Chef and me…
Once all the food was prepared we went downstairs to the dining room and got to eat each course we made for lunch. Here’s the actual Tuscan panzanella salad we made as it was served to us. They garnished the salad with a celery leaf but the recipe says to use basil. I also garnished mine with some shaved parmesan but that wasn’t in the original recipe.
This Tuscan panzanella salad is a little different that what you may be use to here in the States. Frequently we like to take a perfectly good recipe and change it up a bit like I did with this panzanella salad I shared here on the blog previously. It’s fantastic but I took a few more liberties with the ingredients and it’s not truly authentic. The recipe I’m sharing here today is simple, flavorful and definitely worth making. I hope you’ll give it a try!
- 200 g bread. (about 1 cup)
- 100 g onion. (about ½ cup)
- 100 g celery. (about ½ cup)
- 100 g tomatoes. (about ½ cup)
- 20 g vinegar. (about 4 teaspoons)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil to taste
- salt to taste
- basil to garnish
- Cut the bread into cubes and toast in a hot pan or oven using olive oil. When bread is cool transfer to bowl and season with vinegar and a little bit of water to moisten the bread, allowing the bread to soak for one hour.
- Chop the onion, celery and tomatoes, then season with salt and olive oil. (I also seasoned with a little black pepper)
- Add the bread to the vegetables and toss together.
- Garnish with basil (I also added a little chopped basil to the vegetables)
Use any crusty bread. I used a combination of sourdough and a crusty country style bread that I had leftover sitting in my freezer (thawed, of course).
Use a light white wine vinegar or white balsamic. I used champagne vinegar.
I used red onion since that's what we used in the cooking class and also added chopped basil to the salad as well as garnish. Also added some shaved parmesan in the picture.
Taste and adjust seasoning (salt & pepper, olive oil, etc) to your liking.