Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad

Panzanella - a Tomato and Bread Salad with juicy and colorful Heirloom Tomatoes and a vibrant Dijon dressing. Panzanella adds flavor and life back in stale bread. It is also a perfect make ahead dish.

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad
Diet Info: DF GF F LF Na LS VG V Fa

Try this Tuscan Bread Salad called Panzanella with juicy Heirloom Tomatoes and day old toasted bread soaked in delicious dressing made with tomato juices, vinegar, mustard and olive oil. Clean salad, easy to assemble, vegan and very flavorful. 

Traditional Panzanella is made with juicy over ripe tomatoes and dried old bread. The dressing and juices from tomatoes rehydrate bread, putting flavor back to the bread and make a filling salad.

What Do You Need To Make Heirloom Tomato Panzanella?

The tar ingredients of this salad is - Heirloom Tomatoes and Bread. That said, overall Panzanella salad ingredients are very easy to find pantry-staples. Here is what you need to make Panzanella:

  1. Heirloom Tomatoes
  2. Day Old Bread
  3. Mustard Dressing
  4. Capers
  5. Fresh Basil
  6. I also add Cucumber (for crunch) and Artichokes for texture. (both optional)

Heirloom Tomatoes

This is the peak of tomato season. During these days, the colorful heirloom tomatoes are my favorite market pick. I love that when in season, heirloom tomatoes are juicy, sweet and bring spectrum of color to the salad platter.  So today's heirloom tomato recipe features my take on Tuscan Panzanella Bread Salad with heirlooms.

Wedge cut Heirloom Tomatoes

I cut heirloom tomatoes into round slices or into wedges. A serrated knife cuts clean tomato slices without squeezing out the seeds. By the way, any seeds and juices released during cutting tomatoes goes into the dressing.

Panzanella Salad Dressing

Dressing for Panzanella is our favorite salad dressing to serve with all kinds of Tomatoes Salad. Olive oil and mustard are main ingredients in the dressing.

In it's simplicity, it is a Mustard Vinaigrette mixed with juices of heirloom tomatoes and few pinches of sugar. Dressing is not sweet only balances the sharp flavor of red wine vinegar and mustard.

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Dressing

It takes 5 minutes to make batch of dressing. I highly recommend trying this dressing. You will love the flavors.

Bread for Panzanella Salad

If you love using day old bread, this will become your favorite salad. I use all kind of day old bread to make Panzanella. Day old ciabatta rolls, baguette, country French bread or even bagels. All kinds of breads can be used to make Panzanella.

Bread Cubes for Panzanella

For today's recipe I used day old Ciabatta Rolls. I used 3 ciabatta rolls. Dressing is sufficient to accommodate about 4 rolls  if you wish to use more bread. 

Toasted Stale Bread for Panzanella

For good tasty salad, just make sure to use stale bread and toast bread until crusty golden brown. The well toasted bread will hold dressing well and will not turn mushy. This is very important when making salad ahead of the time.

Panzanella is a perfect make-ahead dish. A well toasted stale bread will soak flavor from dressing and will get even better in taste as salad sits longer.

Once bread is toasted, tomatoes are sliced and dressing is mixed, the pnazanella is ready to assemble and serve.

Heirloom Tomatoes Panzanella

Really, a few ingredients bring together a lots of flavor. This salad is vegan vegetarian and diary free. I only recommend to make sure to use vegan bread rolls for croutons.

Friends, bring home the flavors of peak tomato season. Try this clean and delicious Heirloom Tomato Salad. If you have always wonder what to do with day old dried bread, Panzanella is the answer. You can make Panzanella with all kinds of ripe juicy tomatoes. On your next groecry trip, bring home tomatoes and try this Tomatoes Panzanella Bread Salad.

Pairing Ideas:

One Pan Pasta with Sausage and Spinach Shrimp Piccata Chicken Mushroom Cream Sauce

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad
Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time: Cuisine: Italian () Difficulty: Easy
Yields: Large Platter - Serves: 6


Panzanella Dressing


  • 1. Toast Bread Cubes Heat a large dry skillet. Add bread cubes. Drizzle olive oil on top and generous two pinches of salt. Toast on medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until bread is crispy like croutons and spotted golden brown. See Note 2. Additional Notes: To toast bread cubes in oven, see note 1.
  • 2. Slice Heirloom Tomatoes Cut tomatoes into small wedges. Transfer juices of tomatoes dripping from slicing in a bowl. Set sliced tomatoes aside.
  • 3. Make Panzanella Dressing In the bowl with tomato's juices, add remaining Panzanella dressing ingredients. Whisk to emulsify oil, mustard and vinegar. Make sure slat and sugar are fully dissolved. Set aside.
  • 4. Assemble Salad and Serve Add all ingredients for salad and bread cubes into dressing. Gently toss to coat everything in dressing. Garnish with fresh chopped basil. Serve immediately or let panzanella bread soak in more flavor. Refrigerate and serve later.
Savita's Notes:
  1. To toast bread cubes in oven, preheat oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake croutons for 10-12 minutes or until croutons are crispy. Remove from oven. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. Make sure to use stale bread and toast bread until crusty golden brown. The well toasted bread will hold dressing well and will not turn mushy.

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