Balsamic Panzanella Salad is so light and refreshing, the perfect side dish to a grilled steak or chicken – or add it on top for a complete meal!
It’s what we here on the East coast wait all winter for. If you’re in an area where you have a warm climate and fresh produce all year round then you’re lucky.
But for us, we wait for summer time.
Of course you can find most everything you want at grocery stores these days but it always tastes better when it’s fresh and in season.
All you need is a big loaf of crusty bread and some vegetables. My favorite part is the toasted bread cubes though…it could be a 50/50 mix of bread to vegetables if you ask me.
Once the bread cubes are toasted, cut up the peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers, slice a little red onion really thin and get it all in a bowl with mozzarella cheese balls.
You can swap out any type of cheese you like but I like the fresh mozzarella for this salad – again, the more the better if you ask me.
And then pour on the dressing.
Are you getting the idea here of my ideal Balsamic Panzanella Salad? Mostly bread cubes and cheese with some vegetables tossed in. I lost out to the wife on the ratios…but I definitely added more bread cubes to my plate!
The dressing for this salad is a simple balsamic vinaigrette, but it’s really what we use on our salads almost every night. My little guy eats a big bowl of salad with this dressing every night for dinner and then he sort of picks at the rest of the meal. Drives me crazy but it’s probably how we all should be eating!
You can throw some fresh corn in here, marinated artichokes – it can be a “clean out the fridge” type salad with whatever you have on hand!
- 1 large baguette
- salt, pepper, olive oil (for seasoning the bread)
- 1 1/2 lbs. cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 bell peppers (any color) chopped
- 1 small red onion, sliced thin
- 2 cucumbers, sliced into rounds
- 1 lb. small mozzarella balls
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
For the dressing
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut the baguette into cubes and season with salt, pepper and olive oil. Toss and place on a baking sheet.
- Place in the oven for about 8 minutes, tossing once until the bread is slightly toasted.
- Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Add the ingredients for the dressing to a container or dressing shaker and shake well to combine the ingredients.
- In a large bowl, add the chopped vegetables, the mozzarella balls, the fresh basil and the toasted bread cubes.
- Pour the dressing over and toss to coat.
- You can serve immediately or let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes, then toss once more before serving.