This panzanella bread salad is a beautiful, colorful, and easy side dish if you want to fancy up your camping menu with little effort. Traditional Tuscan panzanella is a bread salad that includes tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and stale bread. For this summer edition, we lean into the abundance of seasonal stone-fruits by including sliced peaches as well. The result is a bright, zesty, and sweet “salad” that has a little something for everyone.
The first step is to chop up your tomatoes into bite-sized pieces, place them in a small bowl and liberally salt (1). You want to draw out their juices. While you wait for that to happen, you can move on to the bread.
The easiest way to make panzanella is by using stale bread (this prevents the bread from turning to soggy mush once tossed in the dressing). Just cube it up and you’re good. However, if you are starting with softer, fresher bread, there is another way. Cube the bread, heat up some oil in a skillet, and toss the bread (in batches if need be), and toast it until it turns light brown (2).
Chop all your other ingredients: mozzarella, basil, peaches and combine with cubed bread in a large bowl (3). Combine the sliced tomatoes with the bread, leaving behind as much juice as possible in the small bowl.
Pour your vinaigrette mix into the small bowl with the tomato juice, vigorously stir until combined, then pour into the large bowl. Toss to coat everything, sprinkle it with salt, and serve (4).
- 1 lb ripe tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 6 oz French bread, cut into 1” cubes (about 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 peach, sliced thin
- ¼ cup basil leaves, chopped
- 8 mozzarella balls, cut in half
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
- fresh cracked pepper
- + accumulated tomato juices
- Chop the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl with 1 teaspoon sea salt. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil to a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the bread cubes and toast, tossing frequently, until golden on all sides. Transfer to a large salad bowl.
- Add the sliced peach, basil, and mozzarella balls to the bowl with the bread. Lift the tomatoes out of the accumulated juices and add to the salad bowl.
- Pour the reserved tomato juices into a small mason jar and add ¼ cup olive oil, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, and pepper. Seal the jar and shake.
- Pour dressing over the salad, then toss to coat.