Panzanella Salad

This is a great way to use your bread before it gets too stale. This salad would make a great addition to a picnic or pot luck.  Throw in any vegetables you have to use up that may be getting too soft in your fridge.



4 cups good quality bread, cut into ½ inch cubes and tossed with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and toasted in a 350 degree oven until crisp on the outside, but still tender on the inside.

Small container of mini boconccini or fresh mozzarella, cubed

1 tbsp. pesto or ¼ cup basil leaves, torn (use both if you like)

6 seeded and chopped Roma tomatoes or 2 cups of whatever fresh, ripe tomatoes you have in your garden

1 medium English cucumber cubed, (if you use garden

cucumbers, remove the seeds in the middle, and some of the peel.)

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 small red onion, sliced very thin


In a salad bowl, marinate the bocconcini with the pesto.

Place the tomatoes and cucumber in a strainer, sprinkle with salt and pepper and set over the salad bowl so the juices drain into the bowl.

Assemble the vinaigrette:

1 clove garlic, finely minced or grated

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

¼ cup white wine vinegar

½ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well combined or place the ingredients in a mason jar with a plastic lid and shake well. Taste and adjust.

Pour a little of the dressing over the onions and let stand for a few minutes. TIP: Marinate the onions in leftover pickle juice for added flavour…and to reduce waste!


Assembly: Add the tomatoes and cucumbers to the cheese. Add onions and bread cubes, and enough dressing to coat the ingredients. Tear up the basil and add to the mixture, if desired.

Allow the salad to sit for a few minutes for the bread to absorb the juices.

Serve and enjoy.

P.S. If you want to add greens to the salad, try arugula or spinach.