Panzanella, A Rustic Tuscan Salad

Head straight on to the recipe for Panzanella ♥

Panzanella originates in the Tuscany region of Italy and comprises of stale bread and fresh summer tomatoes. It is dressed with olive oil and vinegar and is the perfect way to make use of ‘yesterday’s’ loaf of bread. In Italy we buy a ciabatta every day, just before lunch. We don’t often finish the loaf for our mid day meal, and knowing it does not keep well overnight we ensure we eat the rest of it with cheese at dinner time.

Panzanella
Panzanella

It is amazing how some people who grow up with money feel that they are entitled! It is as if their parents have trained them to expect that everything will be handed to them. I met a young man who was able to live a privileged life without having to work for it. He did not need to earn money to support his family. And his attitude to everyone around him was one of condescension. When I met him, his attitude was not as pronounced but as he became bolder and less shy, the attitude showed up more and more often. He felt nothing about destroying someone else’s property shrugging his shoulders at the situation and not taking responsibility for the costs involved. He stole company time and business resources to earn money on the side, not for the income but more as a way of showing he was important. He did not feel the need to act in a manner becoming an employee, but rather acted as the boss, arriving late for work, taking time off and not bothering to communicate with the person who employed him. And in the same breath I could look to our own lives and how we never act like we deserve what we have. Both Dave and I were raised to work hard for what we need. To make the best of what we are given and to ensure our integrity is always intact. We have had highs and lows in our life, but we have always lived well, and eaten well. And to me the part about eating well has always been important. And this does not mean spending a lot of money on food. You can eat well by making the most of the ingredients you have to hand. For my panzanella salad I made use of our left over focaccia and the only concession I made to the original dish was using fresh basil from my garden. The same weekend I made my salad, Lorraine made hers using the most amazing looking fresh tomatoes.

Panzanella Salad
Panzanella Salad

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Panzanella

This Tuscan bread salad is the tastiest of peasant foods you can find
Author: Adapted from Jamie's Italy page 154

Ingredients

  • Half a left over focaccia torn into bite size pieces
  • 50 g sun dried tomato quarters
  • 2 marinated artichoke hearts
  • 8 anchovy fillets
  • 3 caper berries trimmed and quartered
  • 45 mls red wine vinegar
  • 90 mls olive oil
  • 2 g chives thickly sliced
  • 5 g fresh basil leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

Instructions

  • Place the focaccia into a large bowl
  • Place a sieve over a small bowl
  • Place the tomatoes, artichokes, anchovies and caper berries into the sieve
  • Leave the juices to drain
  • Once drained, add the tomato mix to the focaccia
  • Add the vinegar, oil and garlic to the collected juices
  • Whisk to combine and then season to taste
  • Pour over the focaccia and add the chives and basil
  • Gently toss with your hands to combine
  • Leave to stand for 15 minutes for the flavours to develop before serving

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29 thoughts on “Panzanella, A Rustic Tuscan Salad

  1. Focaccia or ciabatta, both sound scrumptious in this recipe and I love not wasting food ~ even bread! What a tasty idea for a unique dinner or snack. And entitlement. I never understand why parents think they should spoil their kids. My sister in law and brother in law just “surprised” their son with a trip to Disneyworld, just him. I mean, this cost them thousands of dollars, it’s like, hmmmmm, but what will this kid expect for a high school graduation gift or wedding? We’re building kids up for failure I think!

    1. That is a lot of money to spend and one can only hope they can maintain the surprises throughout his life or he will end up in a bad situation for sure!


  2. I love panzanella salad with loads of fresh Italian ingredients. Yours looks super delicious! The Italians have a great way of using everything and having zero food waste which is very important for us and society.

  3. Very well said. I can’t stand to be around people like that. I pity them! This panzanella is a great way to eat well without it costing a fortune. It looks terrific!

  4. This looks really delicious, Tandy. Hubby and I feel exactly the same way that you and Dave do. Waste not, want not. That young man sounds very foolish.

  5. Always support the idea of re-using food and not letting it go to waste. Great post about panzanella salad. It’s amazing how fresh tomatoes can improve tastes remarkably. Nice pics!

  6. I make a hot version of this (not lettuce obviously) as we often have excess stale sourdough and there are only so many croutons to be made! Of course, using up that stale bread is one of the reasons we have money to travel and it makes us appreciate it even more. I think we are kindred spirits.

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