Grilled Panzanella Salad

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A delicious Tuscan bread salad with a twist!


Units Scale


  • 1 loaf crusty bread, torn into chunks*
  • 1 Tbls. butter
  • 23 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)
  • 1 mozzarella ball, torn into pieces
  • handful of torn basil leaves
  • 2 Tbls. chopped fennel fronds (opt.)


  • 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)


  1. Make 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Make salad:  Heat cast iron 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.
  4. Add cucumbers, tomatoes, capers, olives, mozzarella cheese, croutons (bread) basil and fennel fronds (if using).
  5. Add 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.

*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.