Panzanella Salad – A fresh chopped salad with tomatoes, yellow pepper, red onion and croutons topped with mozzarella pearls and a simple balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
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During the summer, I tend to crave fresh foods so I find myself looking for new salad ideas to get me through the week.
This Panzanella Salad is a super simple chopped salad made with tomatoes, yellow pepper, red onion and croutons, then topped with mozzarella pearls and a simple balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
WHAT IS PANZANELLA?
Panzanella is a Tuscan salad that originated in Italy. Instead of using lettuce leaves, you use chopped veggies, toasted bread, and Italian seasonings.
The salad is then soaked in a delicious vinaigrette dressing for a mouthwatering taste with every bite.
HOW TO MAKE PANZANELLA SALAD
To make this fresh salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing you’ll need:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Yellow pepper
- Red onion
- Balsamic vinegar
- Minced garlic
- Italian seasoning
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Ground pepper
- Olive oil
- Mozzarella cheese pearls
Once you have your ingredients together, chop, dice and slice your vegetables. How pretty is that?
Place the cucumbers, tomatoes, yellow pepper, red onion and croutons in a large mixing bowl and then get ready to make the dressing.
Grab a small bowl and whisk together the balsamic vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and olive oil.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad.
And toss gently to combine.
Add the mozzarella, toss the salad once more, then serve immediately.
CAN I PREPARE PANZANELLA AHEAD OF TIME?
You sure can. Go ahead and prep the vegetables and dressing beforehand to throw this salad together for a quick lunch during the week.
Just remember to keep the croutons and the dressing separate until you are ready to eat the salad to keep it as fresh and as crisp as possible.
IS THIS SALAD GLUTEN FREE?
This salad uses toasted bread (croutons). Croutons are not gluten free, but if you would like to make it gluten free, you can look for gluten-free croutons at your grocery store.
It’s an easy swap and will make this salad safe to enjoy for those with allergies.
WHAT IS THE DRESSING FOR PANZANELLA SALAD?
The dressing in this salad is a delicious vinaigrette. It is made with balsamic vinegar, garlic and italian seasonings, and olive oil. You can make the dressing in under 5 minutes by mixing all the ingredients together.
WHERE DO I FIND MOZZARELLA PEARLS?
Mozzarella pearls are bright white and look like little “pearls.” They are super small balls made of mozzarella cheese that weigh just a couple grams each.
You can find them in the fresh foods section of your local grocery store. They’re often placed near other specialty cheeses.
LOOKING FOR MORE DELICIOUS SUMMER SALADS?
A fresh chopped salad with tomatoes, yellow pepper, red onion and croutons topped with mozzarella pearls and a simple balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
- 3 medium cucumbers, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 5 ounce bag herb & cheese-flavored croutons
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 medium yellow pepper, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon jarred minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups fresh mozzarella cheese pearls
- Put cucumbers, croutons, tomatoes, yellow pepper, and red onion in a large mixing bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk balsamic vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and olive oil.
- Drizzle sauce over salad and toss gently to combine.
- Add the mozzarella and stir to combine. Serve immediately.
Well, the recipe sounds very delicious but actually, that’s not exactly how the Panzanella is made.
I was told by Tuscans that, originally, Panzanella was a dish that people made to use up old, stale, unsalted bread. They soaked the hard bread in water and then crumbled it into a paste that was mixed into the salad.
I know that there are many recipes on the internet that use toasted bread cubes and call it Panzanella, but I lived in central Tuscany (Orcia Valley and Chiana Valley) for 9 years and I asked many of the people there. Nobody ever heard of a Panzanella made with toasted bread cubes. 😉