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This popular Italian salad is a perfect addition to any summer meal or BBQ. Crusty bread that’s been infused with garlic butter makes this it irresistible. Next time if you’re looking for a perfect side dish try this amazing Summer Panzanella with Garlic Butter Bread.
Panzanella – Popular Italian Bread Salad
A huge part of the Mediterranean diet are salads that contain some sort of bread with lots of olive oil, of course. This Summer Panzanella with Garlic Butter Bread is no different.
I used to make my Panzanella with just cubed bread and let it soak in the juices that vegetables released with a combination of red wine vinegar and olive oil. But when I tried infusing my bread with garlic and butter first and then bake it until golden perfection, it was a game changer.
Panzanella Salad – Perfect for Summer BBQ
This Panzanella bread salad is so perfect for a summer BBQ. You can throw on a grill whatever you feel like, whip up this salad with garlic butter bread and you have dinner ready in 30 minutes.
What I really like about this Italian bread salad is, that it is actually almost a whole meal in itself. It’s like a vegetable sandwich in a bowl. You have your vegetables (fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions – you can’t go wrong with that), your carbs in the form of bread and your fats in terms of olive oil and butter.
Ok, ok it doesn’t have protein but if you really want to make it like a whole vegetarian meal, just add some chickpeas or mozzarella cheese.
This bread tossed with garlic infused butter and then baked in the oven was to die for. Please don’t tell me that you don’t want to eat it now. I do…
Italian Panzanella Bread Salad – A Winner at The Summer Menu
Recently I invited a couple who I met in my home town, for BBQ dinner. They are my Polish people and they are super awesome. We felt the instant connection right from the gecko. The best part is that they have a daughter that is very close to my son’s age, so we had two little blond cuties running in my backyard.
Anyways, I prepared my summer BBQ menu. I marinated some Honey Harrisa Chicken Skewers, made a garlic yogurt sauce for this, made some Polish Rice Salad with Corn, Ham, Cucumber and Chives, Polish Sausage and of course my summer Panzanella.
I was sure that Polish sausage and Polish salad will be the hit of the night. Gosh, I was mistaken. They were raving about my Panzanella. For them, it was an absolute winner that night.
I’m not sure if any more endorsement is needed.
What To Serve Summer Panzanella With
Here are a couple of other suggestions:
Oh and by the way, I think that my version of Summer Panzanella with Garlic Butter Bread would not be approved by Florentine traditionalists, at least according to Wikipedia. Panzanella should contain only onions and tomatoes and in fact, until the 20th century, it was only onions. Isn’t that interesting?
Try my Panzanella salad recipe soon and it will stay with you through the whole summer. You will want to make it over and over. I LOVE summer! Cheers my friends.
Summer Panzanella with Garlic Butter Bread Recipe
- 1/2 Ciabatta bread (about 10 oz), cubed
- 14 oz Cherry tomatoes (or cocktail or heirloom tomatoes) or 2-3 bigger tomatoes
- 1/2 Red onion thinly sliced
- 1 English cucumber peeled and cut into chunks
- 3 cloves Garlic sliced
- 1/2 cup Olive oil Extra virgin, for bread
- 4 tablespoon Butter
- 1/2 cup Fresh parsley
- 8 Basil leaves torn into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon Red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoon Olive oil Xxtra virgin, for dressing
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees;
- Heat 1/2 cup of olive oil with butter together in a large oven proof skillet over medium heat;
- When the butter has melted, remove the skillet from the heat, add garlic and bread and mix it well;
- Transfer skillet to the oven and bake for 15 minutes until the bread is golden brown, let it cool down;
- In the meantime prepare the tomatoes, cut the cherry tomatoes in half or if using large tomatoes, core and slice into medium cubes;
- In a large bowl, mix together, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions;
- Combine vinegar with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper and pour over the salad;
- Mix well;
- Add bread and herbs and toss everything together;
- It can be served immediately or prepared 15 - 30 minutes in advance.
This post was originally published on June 1, 2016, and since then was updated to provide additional information.