Panzanella Bread Salad

5 star Avg. rating 5 from 2 votes.

Recipe Information

# of Servings: 4
Recipe Created By: Kathy Przywara


1/2 loaf day old crusty bread (sourdough, batard, ciabatta, etc)
2 ripe tomatoes
1 small cucumber
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 – 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
to taste salt
to taste pepper
fresh herbs such as basil, oregano, parsley), minced (optional)
1 clove garlic, crushed or minced
chopped olives (optional)


Slice bread thickly – about 3/4″ thick slices. Toast or grill bread over low heat until it’s dry, but not too dark. Allow to cool. Putting it on a rack will keep it drier. If you cool it on a board, it will steam on the bottom from the heat and soften.

Meanwhile, dice tomatoes and cucumber and put them in a large bowl. About a 1/2″ dice is good. Make sure you get all the juice from the tomatoes into the bowl.

Add vinegar, EVOO, herbs, garlic and S&P to taste. Toss to mix and allow to stand for 30 minutes at room temperature if you have the time.

About 15 minutes before serving, cube toasted bread and add to tomato mixture. Toss to combine. Allow to stand for 10 minutes or so tossing occasionally. If the salad is too dry, add a bit more EVOO. The bread should be softened, but still have a lot of texture. You don’t want this mushy. Serve immediately, this does not hold.


You want to use a nice sturdy bread for this. It’s a way to use up leftover bread that is past it’s prime. It can even be herbed bread or olive bread. Just match your fresh herbs to what you have.

This is one of those “clean out the fridge” recipes, so use what you have and what will work rather than following the recipe to the letter!


This will not work with all gluten-free breads, but can be adapted to work with some gluten-free breads. You want a sturdy, dense bread, not one that is already crumbly. You’ll want to toast the bread otherwise it tends to just disintegrate instead of soaking up the dressing and juices. Combine bread with dressing and vegetables about 10 minutes before serving.
Gluten: Gluten is a protein found in specific grains (wheat, spelt, kamut, barley, rye). Other grains are naturally gluten-free but may have cross-contact with gluten-containing grains. Look for certified gluten-free products if you need to avoid gluten. Find out more about wheat and gluten substitutions.

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