Tomato Panzanella

I personally have a love affair with panzanella. In spring, I enjoyed this version, all the while dreaming about tomato season and a summer variety. It’s here! It’s here! If you come to my house for dinner in July or August, chances are a tomato panzanella will be on the menu. Partly because it is my favorite summer dish, and partly because it pleases everyone. A vegetarian feeding a crowd of meat eaters isn’t always an easy challenge. Instead of putting the focus on meat vs vegi, I choose to focus on healthy, seasonal food that will leave everyone satisfied and not wondering where the meat is. The idea is about good food, and that’s that.

A panzanella is an excellent go-to meal for any time of the year. It is a snap to whip up and flexible for throwing in what you have on hand. Try adding in or substituting other summer favorites such as arugula, roasted tomatoes, corn or green beans. Just keep it simple and remember the basics: homemade croutons, a simple vinaigrette, seasonal vegis and herbs.

Tomato Panzanella
serves 4

3 c Italian bread, cut or torn into 1” pieces
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

4 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
14-oz can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped*
1 c pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1/2 c coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
3 T coarsely chopped fresh mint

1/3 c olive oil
1/4 c white wine vinegar
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Place the bread on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil 2-4 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven, and transfer to a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, artichokes, olives and basil. Toss to combine.

In a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients. Stir well, and drizzle over the salad. Toss, and season to taste with salt and pepper. (Dish can be prepared ahead of time, with croutons added just before serving).

*substitution: 15.5-oz can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed


Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

Oh my this Panzanella looks so good! Just found you blog today and at the perfect moment! I will hitting the Farmer's Market tomorrow morning. Love your blog, it is a feast for eyes as well. Thanks! Lisa

Dana said...

I am making a 5 course dinner for 8 carnivorous 31-year old men this coming Saturday. I am going to make a Panzanella with burrata if I can find it. You are right - serve people seasonal delicious food and they won't wonder where the meat is.

Rachel said...

Running to the store to pick up crusty bread (I have everything else already!).

Thanks for helping me figure out what to make for dinner tonight!

Jennifer said...

I LOVE Panzanella!! Yours looks sooo great! So fresh and perfect.

fresh365 said...

Dana- Good luck with the dinner! Burrata sounds like a great addition!
Rachel- Hope it turned out great!

alisa said...

aaaah panzanella is one of my FAVORITE things to make in warm weather! yours looks delicious!!!!!

Jennyjen said...

Homemade croutons, artichokes & tomatoes... Yes yes yes! This looks like a satisfying & delicious dish. Perfection!

Amanda Nicole said...

Oh, it looks divine. I'm a vegetarian who often has to find stuff to feed meat-eaters, so I feel for you. I'm definitely going to try this one out :)

El said...

It looks delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

lisaiscooking said...

The artichokes and olives look delicious here. Great mix in the panzanella!

eatme_delicious said...

I've heard of panzanella but never had it before. You're making me want to try it!

Cyn said...

That looks fantastic! I've eaten panzanella in restaurants, but have never made it. When my garden tomatoes are ready, this will be the dish. Thanks for the inspiration!

Caroline Hancox said...

more great photos, i've just been trying out some food photography, these are really excellent!