Panzanella is an Italian bread salad with simple summer vegetables and leftover stale bread soaked in water.I'll show you how to make a 100% authentic Panzanella recipe. The exact recipe you'll find in restaurants in central Italy, where Panzanella is from.
Break up the stalebread into big chunks and add them to a bowl. Cover with water and add twotablespoons of vinegar.Soak until the bread becomes soft. It can take 5 to 30 minutes for the bread to soften up, depending on how dry it is and the type of bread.If you don't have stale bread, you can dry fresh bread in the oven. Bake it on a baking sheet for 15 to 30 minutes at a lowtemperature (210˚F or 100˚C).
Don't let the bread soak for too long, or it'll get mushy. Some of the bread pieces should be harder than others. The crust especially should retain some bite to it.With your hands, squeeze the water out of the soaked bread, then coarsely crumble it into a large bowl.
Cut the cucumber half lengthwise, then cut each half into thin slices.Next, cut the red onion in half, peel it, then cut it into thin slices.Finally, dice the tomatoes into bite-size pieces. Reserve the tomato juice.
Add tomatoes (with their juice), cucumber, red onion, soaked and squeezed bread, salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, the remaining vinegar, and fresh basil leaves to a large mixing bowl.
Mix the ingredients well and set aside 10 to 30 minutes before serving the Panzanella salad.
*The weight of stale bread can vary depending on the type of bread. Use our measurements as an indication. If you use fresh bread, that's heavier than dry bread, so you'll have to use a little more.Servings: you can serve up to 4 people if you serve it as a main dish for lunch. If you eat it as a small appetizer or small side dish then you can serve up to 8 people. Nutrition information is for 1 large serving out of 4.Panzanella with LettuceAdd chopped romaine to the other ingredients to make an even crunchier Panzanella salad with lettuce.