Grilled Panzanella Salad is a nutritious and delicious summer dish. Grilling the vegetables and bread amps up the flavor of this great salad. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.
For this post I’m offering a quick and easy summer recipe.
Since I had several 1/2 loaves of bread left over from my White Sandwich Bread recipe testing, and an abundance of summer veggies, it is the perfect time to make Panzanella (Bread Salad) for dinner.
Normally I use a good, crusty sourdough or other sturdy-textured bread for this salad because the bread chunks need to soak up the juices and still keep their shape.
White sandwich bread would not be my first choice for this dish, but since my homemade sandwich bread has a stronger texture than packaged bread I figured I’d give it a try.
Scroll through the step by step photos to see how to make Grilled Panzanella Salad:
Tips for making a great Grilled Panzanella Salad:
- Unless the bread is already stale, lay thick slices of the bread out on a cooling rack for several hours to dry them out.
- Grill the bread and some of the veggies to boost the flavor.
- Vine ripened tomatoes are a must for this salad because the juices help moisten and flavor the bread.
- The mix of veggies can vary based on what you’ve got on hand. But juicy vegetables like cucumber and zucchini are great choices for this summer salad.
- Good options for this salad are onion, cucumber, zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, and peppers.
- A few curls of Parmesan is the perfect topping. But you could also crumble goat cheese or ricotta salata over the salad.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.
For the Salad
- About 8-12 oz stale bread (a sturdy bread like sourdough or ciabatta is best)
- 1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into 1" thick slices
- 1 pound zucchini, sliced longways into 1/2" thick slabs
- 1 medium bell pepper
- 1 pound cucumbers, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 2 pounds heirloom or vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into bite size cubes, juices saved
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, larger leaves torn into smaller pieces and small leaves left intact
- Parmesan curls to finish (Use a potato peeler on a piece of Parmesan to make the curls)
For the Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- Generous pinch of kosher salt
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Slice the bread into thick slices and lay out on cooling racks for several hours to dry.
- Toss the onion, zucchini and bell pepper with a pinch of kosher salt and olive oil. Grill the onion, zucchini and pepper until nicely charred, set aside to cool. Grill the bread slices on both sides until golden brown, set aside to cool.
Make the vinaigrette
- Combine the vinegar, salt, sugar and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil.
Assemble the Salad
- Peel the skin off the charred bell pepper and remove the stem and seeds. Cut the grilled veggies into bite size pieces. Combine the grilled veggies with the cucumbers and tomatoes in a large salad bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the veggies and toss to combine. Taste the salad and adjust the seasoning
- Tear the slices of grilled bread into large bite size chunks and toss into the vegetables. Allow the salad to sit for about 15 minutes for the bread to absorb the juices.
- Just before serving, toss in the torn basil leaves and top with curls of Parmesan.
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