grilled bread salad
July 28, 2014 § 76 Comments
We eat a lot of salads, but classic panzanella has to be my favorite. Juicy summer tomatoes, sharp red wine vinegar, fresh basil, and little grilled cubes of day old bread slightly softened by the luscious tomato juice vinaigrette…delicious.
This is one of those recipes where the ingredients really matter. It truly is much better with with either farmer’s market or (better yet) homegrown tomatoes, rustic crusty day old bread and using a good quality extra virgin olive oil.
I n g r e d i e n t s
- 1/2 loaf of crusty bread, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch dice
- 1 cucumber peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil, torn into small size pieces
- 2 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
- sea salt and pepper
Light your grill. Brush bread slices on both sides with 2 tablespoons oil. Grill until lightly charred on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut into large cubes.
In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with tomatoes, cucumber and basil. Drizzle with vinegar and remaining 1/4 cup oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, and serve.
Salad looks so yummy grilled bread would give nice crunchy bite
It is delicious… :)
My absolute favorite salad ever can’t wait for the tomatoes to hit the market.
They’ve just started hitting over here on the West Coast. And I’m already getting ripe one’s in my garden, which is very early. I think I waited until October last year to start getting ripe tomatoes. Love this salad.
I bet it’s nice when the bread soaks up all the juices :)
That’s what I love about this salad, and that the edges of the bread remain crisp. Great way to use up that leftover 1/2 loaf of bread.
Cool – like fattoush :)
Mmmmmm,…a lovely tasty dish! I can use home grown tomatoes in here! 😊
Oh good. That’s the best way to have this salad. Nothing tastes better than homegrown tomatoes!
Yes, yes! :) xxx
What kind of tomatoes are those they look amazing? Love that you grilled your bread. You are so right about the ingredients here. I can see why this is one of your favorites. I am posting a salad similar to this today for the cooking club I belong to.
Hi Cheri. These are heirloom tomatoes (of some sort). They were a beautiful golden/red hue. I look forward to your salad post. I’ll head over now to see if it’s up. :)
Love the colors, especially those tomatoes, they’re beautiful!
I know! Such a wonderfully vibrant bunch of tomatoes. This is what I love about summer. The tomatoes.
Such a pretty dish and a great way to show off fresh tomatoes. :)
Thank you, Those tomatoes certainly are “show off” worthy. :)
We had an interesting take on panzanella this weekend at a local restaurant: fresh peaches and blueberries in place of the tomatoes. Still the basil and bread and vinaigrette. It was yummy.
Oh wow, that sounds delicious! I’ll have to try it. Peaches are now appearing and they look wonderful.
Oh I adore panzanella! Especially when the summer tomatoes are super sweet and juicy!
Me too. A nice bowl and of this is really all I need for dinner when it’s too hot to eat. This with a glass of chilled wine…
I’m seeing this salad pop up a lot now and I really can’t wait to try it. Fresh tomatoes are a treat and I love the acid with the bread. Thanks for posting this. I’m going to do it. My friend’s tomatoes should be ready in like 2 weeks!
Oh good fresh tomatoes in two weeks! Nothing better than sopping up the juices of tomato and olive oil with a nice chunk of bread. This salad is great because the bread sort of marinades in those juices. You’ll love it Amanda! And if I remember correctly you have a very nice bottle of olive oil, don’t you? :)
YES! I do. This will be so amazing. I cannot wait.
I have tomato envy Seana!! Panzanella is an all time favorite here too, must as you say it must be made with ripe summer tomatoes
Tomatoes are the one and only food one should be envious of! :) In no time at all the tables will be turned and I’ll be seeing your gorgeous tomatoes while sitting with a blanket wrapped around me, and turning green with envy!
And a very beautiful flower, the colours of which are a perfect match, to go with your salad. Can’t figure what the flower is. I’ve just Googled Zinnia, which I would grow from seed given half a chance. Well, some of them. A lot of them are too garish. As for those heirloom toms! They’re definitely show offs.
Just a week ago I was admiring perennial and thinking I need to plant more of them. They are so hearty and come back larger and more lush every year. It is an echinacea! And I think this varietal is call tiki torch. There are some fabulous images in Google Images. It’s such a lovely cutting plant, the bouquet lasts for a good ten days in a vase!
I was struck by the beautiful flower too Seana and how well it complemented your colourful salad. Ahhhh, bring on summer… I’m ready for heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil and salads just like this one! :)
I was just telling Johnny these are echinacea. Isn’t it lovely! I had a bouquet of them sitting on the table when I sat the panzanella salad down and it was striking how the colors matched. Thank you Margot. :)
Love the bright colors and it looks very yummy, Seana :)
Isn’t the color palette of summertime food is so magnificent! I was so excited when these heirlooms started ripening and turning such a wonderful shade of both orange and yellow. :)
What a lovely looking dish, and it sounds pretty yum too!!
Hello trixpin… so nice to see you stop in, thank you!
Rocking! That one hell of a dish!
Good morning my lovely Seana… what a gorgeous salad! I totally agree with you, a salad like this deserves only the best of everything! It happens to be a favorite of mine too! Wonderful post… gorgeous photos! They make me want to reach in and grab a dish of that delicious salad! Oh heck, I just want to grab that whole bowl! <3
Yes, this salad is one of those you just can’t stop eating. Then you realize how you just ate a whole loaf of bread! This is all we had that night for dinner and it certainly is filling. But I can’t think of anything better to fill up on than tomatoes and good crusty artisan bread…can you? :)
Such a great idea! Looks absolutely delish!
Thank you. It’s a wonderful salad meal. Nothing else needed, except a glass of wine. :)
But of course! How could it possibly be a meal without the wine????? :)
I just made one of these recently. The whole family loved it. I’ll have to make your version soon.
Oh good! I would like to see your version…did you post it? I’ll go take a look now. Thanks for stopping in…
Looks delicious & love all the fresh flavors on this salad :)
This looks great….grilled bread is the best with fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. …yum .
Although this I make this salad often this is the first time I grilled the bread. It was wonderful!
I love panzanella salad. That is such a great idea to grill the bread. I wish I had tried this when our tomatoes were ripe in the garden.
Put a little note in the back of you mind to make this when your tomatoes return… :)
I definitely will!
I’ve bought the bread, and everything else…this is dinner tomorrow!
Oh good! It’s such an easy dinner. We just had this however, I think grilled chicken would be nice. Farmer’s market???
I just love this salad – it is the essence of summer with fresh tomatoes. The best tomatoes are coming soon to the farmer’s market; I’m just a few weeks away from getting my hands on them! When that happens, it’s panzanella all the way for us!
You know summer has arrived when panzanella is on the table. :) I’m happy as a lark when tomatoes hit the market! My favorite summertime produce.
We do this, but usually the morning AFTER we’ve had a big dinner and made lots bruschetta/crostini to go with the grilled lamb chops or swordfish. Also, if you refrigerate the leftover crostinini in a plastic bag overnight they get kind of chewy the next day, which works great in the salad (assuming you’re not looking to make the equivalent of croutons). Nice. Ken
Oh, indeed the bread must be chewy in panzanella. Do you typically use the bread straight from the refrigerator or brown it a little first? I imagine it is a textural preference, and most likely in Italy you wouldn’t make croutons out of their bread. :) I enjoy both. Even with a little crunch of toasting the bread it stills absorbs the juices well and becomes soft and chewy. Thanks Ken.
Searing it in a little olive oil first is the luxury version. We usually go with the vacation house version, i.e. straight out of the fridge. Ken
I grow tomatoes every summer for 2 reasons: panzanella and BLT’s. With my tomatoes just starting to turn pink, I’ll be enjoying both very soon. Your grilling the bread is a great idea to add more flavor to a classic dish. I’ll be sure to follow suit. Thanks for the tip.
The two best reason for growing tomatoes…panzanella and BLT’s! Tomatoes are the only vegetable I’m growing this year, can’t do without homegrown tomatoes now can we? Now I’m curious how you make your panzanella. Do you usually brown or toast your bread first? I have only made bread salad a handful of times and usually cook the bread a little first (crouton style). The bread soaks up the juices well and maintains a little crunch on the edges, but perhaps just using bread without toasting is better. Would love to hear your take! :)
I feel home today, thanks for making panzanella! Let me add that as soon as I moved from Italy to Canada I was surprised learning that panzanella is quite famous even abroad… in the original recipe is supposed to use wet bread, but with crunchy one, as you did, is thousands times better!
Hmm. Nice to hear. I am very curious now about traditional panzanella now. I am wondering if it is typically made without toasting or browning the bread first. Even after grilling the bread it still became very soft and saturated but with a crunchy toasted crust. I would like to try this as the original recipe too, using wet bread! :)
The original recipe is supposed to use moistened bread, we don’t toast the bread before, we just use the 2 days-old bread. The other particular fact about panzanella is that we use the typical unsalted bread (all the rest of Italy makes fun of us for this bread!!!). As I said, I love the traditional panzanella, but I prefer the crunchy version!!! Thanks again for replying me back!
Just love this salad! What a wonderful recipe and gorgeous photos! :D
Thank you so much Chef Julianna!
This is a great way to use tomatoes fresh from the garden as they are so juicy. A few of mine are just starting to turn red…looking forward to making panzanella.
Oh good! Lucky you with your tomatoes turning red. :) Nothing better to do with those juicy ripe tomatoes than a good panzanella. Thank you Karen!
wow–those pictures are the best yet :-) With you on loving a bread salad. Perfect.
Ah Liz, thank you…
Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my post today – I really appreciate it! And I’m now going to follow your amazing blog! You know, I’ve never made a bread salad… although I always intended to. I just LOVE this recipe – thanks for posting it!
Aw! Here, now I can reply…thank you for coming over and following my blog. :) Hope you get the chance to make a bread salad. It’s wonderful, especially with ripe juicy tomatoes.
; o ) Glad you finally were able to reply!!
I LOVE bread salad !! yum … thx for sharing
Hi and thank you for stopping in an leaving a comment! I love bread salad too. Such a fabulous summertime dinner with the juiciest ripest tomatoes you can get your hands on. :)
We used to visit this GREAT restaurant (sadly, it’s gone now) and order this wonderful Tuscan Bread Salad … we have never been able to quite reproduce it at home. Sure wish we had that recipe. Oh boy … it was good. :)
Oh darn. Don’t give up! You may be right on the brink of cracking the code. :)
This Salad was spectacular … it was served with wonderful greens, tomatoes, warm white kidney beans and of course these garlicky beautiful croutons … we’d order it every time time we were there … *sigh*