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Summer panzanella salad
Panzanella, also known as pansanella, panmòllo or panmolle, is a simple Tuscan dish. Prepared by the farmers who work the fields where they grow the summer vegetables for their meals. This is an easy recipe for our Summer Panzanella Salad, which is also very useful for working up stale bread.
Tuscan panzanella is a traditional recipe based on stale bread and seasonal vegetables. Tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions are the staple veggies, which we’ve augmented with some chickpeas. Eaten cold in summer, it makes an excellent salad. Even if we’re spoiled for richer and more sophisticated dishes these days, this salad recipe always cuts a fine figure as a homemade appetizer or refreshing meal.
Origin of panzanella
Panzanella has rather uncertain origins, but its name seems to derive from the farmers’ habit of soaking stale bread in the sauce at the bottom of the tureen. In fact, panzanella comes from “pane” (bread) and “zanella” (meaning tureen or soup plate).
Panzanella has been prepared in numerous variations over time. The basic preparation with other ingredients such as hard-boiled eggs, sausage, beans, mozzarella or various types of cheese is most common. The one presented in this recipe is the basic version of the original Tuscan recipe with toasted bread and a plus of chickpeas.
In the original panzanella…
… first the crust is cut from the old bread and then the bread slices are soaked in water and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. About ten minutes. Then the bread is squeezed out and pulled apart. We toasted the bread with butter (alternatively olive oil) in the pan until golden brown and added some mustard to the vinaigrette. Because you could also leave it out.
If you like our Summer Panzanella Salad, you might also be interested in these recipes:
- Italian pasta with porcini mushrooms
- Tender miso onions from the oven
- quick Mediterranean white bean salad
- Power food combination of sweet potatoes
- Mediterranean chickpea salad
- more salad recipes
Italian panzanella salad
For the panzanella you need:
Make Panzanella Salad:
- Cut the ciabatta into cubes of about 2 x 2 cm. Toast the bread in a wide pan over medium heat and add the butter until golden brown.
- Drain the chickpeas through a sieve and rinse.
- Wash the cucumber, cut in half, scrape out the seeds with a spoon and then cut into small pieces.
- Wash and halve the cherry tomatoes.
- Peel the red onion and cut into narrow strips.
- Coarsely grate the Parmesan.
- Pluck the basil leaves from the stems.
- Peel and finely chop the garlic.
- Whisk all ingredients together.
Arranging and serving:
- Once the bread is toasted, place in a large bowl along with the chickpeas, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion, parmesan (reserve some for garnish), and basil.
- Drizzle the lettuce evenly with the Italian vinaigrette and toss gently.
- Serve immediately, garnished with additional Parmesan if you like.
- Or ...
- You cover the salad and refrigerate it for up to 4 hours. This is enough time for the flavors to combine. Stir gently again before serving.