Perfect Panzanella

What do you get when you add shreds of crusty sourdough to a bowl full of perfect end-of-summer tomatoes, sprinkle with course salt and douse with fresh lemon juice and a healthy helping of olive oil? You get a perfect panzanella salad.

This Tuscan treat makes a perfect meal or starter, and is an easy way to use every last bit of that sourdough bread, even when it's past its prime.

Panzanella Recipe


  • 1/2 loaf of leftover crusty sourdough (fresh works, too!) torn into pieces

  • 1 lb. vine-ripened tomatoes (cherry or plum tomatoes are easy, heirloom tomatoes are gorgeous and a combo is great, too).

  • 6 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese

  • 1/2 medium red onion, sliced

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped

  • 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley


  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar

  • 1/4 of a shallot, chopped fine or two garlic cloves, grated

  • Course salt

  • Fresh ground black pepper


Recipes for panzanella are as plentiful as perfect farmer's market tomatoes in the early Fall, and while many call for toasting the bread pre-construction, we like to skip this stage. Leaving a little moisture in the bread lets it absorb the dressing, giving just the right bite. To make the salad, tear the bread into bite-sized pieces and do the same with the mozzarella. Cut large tomatoes in eighths and cherry varieties into halves or quarters.