Even though Summer is coming to an end, I could eat this Simple Summer Panzanella all year round. This essential Italian Summer side dish is filled with pieces of tasty sourdough bread, juicy Summer tomatoes and, of course, some mozzarella cheese balls. It makes the perfect side dish for Labor Day, a Summer BBQ or family get together.
What is Panzanella?
Panzanella is an Italian salad made up of dried or toasted bread cubes mixed with tomatoes, onion and sometimes cucumbers or other vegetables. The “salad” is then tossed with an oil and vinegar mixture which the bread soaks up to make a tasty side dish. My husband’s grandmother makes a tomato salad that is my husband’s absolute favorite during the Summertime. He loves getting crusty bread and dipping it in all of the juices as he eats the salad. This recipe for my Simple Summer Panzanella is a great mash up of those those two things.
What type of bread do you use for Panzanella?
I like using sourdough bread for my panzanella, but any other artisan bread will do. You don’t want to use a soft bread, but one that has a little bit more structure. This will make sure your panzanella doesn’t get mushy after you add the dressing. Using stale bread or allowing your bread to dry out for some time will also help to prevent your panzanella from getting too soggy. I usually cut my bread into cubes and leave out to dry for the day, or even overnight. A lot of grocery stores and bakeries will sell stale or day old bread at a discount too, which makes for even easier prep!
How to Make Simple Summer Panzanella
With just 3 easy steps and 10 minutes or less, you can easily put together this tasty Summer side dish.
- First, mix the bread, mozzarella cheese, chopped tomatoes and sliced red onion in your favorite serving bowl.
- Next, mix together olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic powder, italian seasoning, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Finally, pour the olive oil and vinegar mixture over the bread mixture and toss to combine.
See how easy that is? This recipe uses simple ingredients, but the flavors are complex and delicous. Let the salad sit for an hour or two before serving and the flavors will be even better!
Simple Summer Panzanella
- 1 10 oz loaf stale sourdough bread, cut in 1" cubes
- 4 oz mozzarella cheese balls
- 1 cup chopped fresh tomato
- ¼ medium red onion, sliced thinly
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- 1 large pinch kosher salt
- 1 small pinch black pepper
- In a large bowl, combine bread cubes, mozzarella cheese balls, chopped tomato and sliced red onion.
- In a small bowl, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic powder, italian seasoning, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. This will be your dressing for the panzanella.
- Pour dressing over bread, cheese, tomatoes and onions and toss with a large serving spoon to make sure everything is evenly dressed.
I hope you enjoyed this Simple Summer Panzanella recipe. Please comment below to let me know how you liked this dish! If you are needing more fun Summertime recipes, check out these popular ones from the blog:
- Grilled Italian Steaks
- Pepperoncini Dip with Bagel Chips
- Homemade Italian Cream Sodas
- Italian Flatbread Pizzas