That amazing panzanella

Just in case you never heard about this salad. Originates in Tuscany and predominantly consists of stale bread and tomatoes.

Just like so many great, simple dishes this one is a result of using leftover. Bread that can not be used otherwise anymore, and needs some moisture to bring back to life. And what is better for that than beautiful, ripe, juicy, flavorful in season tomatoes?


In this version I grilled some ingredients, to give it a bit of extra flavor and more suitable for those barbecue days.



  • stale bread
  • ripe, juicy tomatoes, any kind (best with heirloom )
  • red onion – both grilled and fresh
  • garlic
  • fresh basil leaves
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • red wine vinegar
  • olive oil
  • shaved parmesan

You can also add fresh cucumbers or grilled zucchini if you want. But it has to be mainly all about the tomatoes.



  1. Cut the red onions in half and grill them. (If you cut them any smaller, they will easily fall apart and difficult to handle.)
  2. Drizzle olive oil on the stale bread and season with salt.
  3. Grill the bread.
  4. While the bread and onion is cooling down, chop the tomatoes into big chunks, if you use cherry tomatoes too, only half those.
  5. Put all the tomatoes in a big bowl, season GENEROUSLY with salt, add ground black pepper, minced garlic (use only one clove for about 4 portions), good splash of red wine vinegar, olive oil and chiffonade basil leaves. Mix it with your hands, carefully not to break the tomatoes too much and let it sit for 5-10 minutes so that you get juice out of those tomatoes.
  6. Then add the grilled, chopped red onion and the grilled bread cut or torn into similar sizes as your tomatoes.
  7. Let it sit again for about 10 minutes so the bread can start soaking up the good juice but will not get oversoaked!
  8. Finish it off with fresh basil leaves and shaved parmesan.


Serve this salad as a side dish at your barbecue. It will be great by itself or with steak, shrimps and even chicken! Enjoy and have a great July 4th weekend!

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