Chef Rocco’s Panzanella Salad
Panzanella is a popular and rustic Italian salad made from toasted bread, ripe tomatoes, onion and fresh basil soaked in a simple dressing to make a satisfying summer favourite. It is delicious on its own or served with grilled shrimp or herbed chicken.
- 4-5 medium size tomato, cubed
- 3 cups day-old bread, cubed
- ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 240g fresh mozzarella (fior di latte)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Add tomato to a mixing bowl with 1 tbsp of salt and mix to combine. Place into a colander or strainer over the mixing bowl, letting tomato juices drain for 15 minutes.
- Place bread in a mixing bowl, drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Transfer to a lined sheet pan. Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown then set aside to cool.
- To make the vinaigrette, combine the reserved tomato juice, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and minced garlic in a bowl. Whisking constantly, drizzle in remaining olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
- Combine toasted bread, tomatoes, red onion, mozzarella and dressing in a large bowl. Add chopped basil. Toss everything to coat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let rest 15 minutes before serving, tossing occasionally until the dressing is absorbed by the bread. Garnish with more chopped basil and a drizzle of olive oil to serve.