Classic panzanella recipe from Tuscany

panzanella toscana

Panzanella is a Tuscan salad made with bread and tomatoes which is very popular on summertime because of the fresh ingredients you can use to make it. If you think it’s an easy recipe you’re perfectly right but the big mistake people always make is to consider it a recipe where you can use everything you’ve in the fridge.

The real panzanella is made with great homemade bread to avoid it to become soggy and heirloom tomatoes which give the salad the summery flavor you’re looking for. Then it comes the oil which has to be of a really good quality to make the difference and forget adding a huge amount of ingredients because the real panzanella doesn’t ask for more than bread, tomatoes, onion and basil.

In its simplicity stays its beauty and that’s why you can’t add quantities to this recipe which has to be seasoned and made based on your taste.

What you need to make a bowl of panzanella
Artisan stale bread
Heirloom tomatoes
Fresh basil
Red onion
White vinegar
Salt
Black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

How to make the panzanella salad
1. Soak the bread in a mix of water and vinegar for about 20-25 minutes until it becomes soft but not soggy.
2. Cut and season the tomatoes and the onion.
3. Squeeze the bread with your hands, break it coarsely and pour it into the bowl with the tomatoes and the onion.
4. Mix everything with your hands, season with oil, black pepper and salt and at the end add a few leaves of basil.
5. Let the panzanella rest in the fridge so that all the ingredients will mix perfectly. Take it out of the fridge 15 minutes before eating.

Preparation time: 20 minuti

panzanella toscana

Panzanella from Tuscany with some black olives

How to make a good panzanella salad

1. The original recipe calls for “pane sciocco”, unsalted Tuscan bread, but you can use a rustic loaf. Do not use a ciabatta nor a fluffy white bloomer or a french baguette. Never use bread for sandwiches.
2. Make sure your bread is stale so it won’t absorb too much water and it won’t be soggy.
3. You can omit or add anything you want and make it own but the traditional recipe just call for those few ingredients.


Categories: Seasonal recipes, Traditional Italian recipes
Article written by Veruska Anconitano aka La Cuochina Sopraffina

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