Summer tomatoes are (finally!) here and I am soo glad to be rid of the sad supermarket versions! I had some stale bread, and inspired by a friend, I decided to make a simple panzanella salad for one.
Panzanella is a classic Italian dish made from day-old crusty bread, tomatoes, cucumber, and onion. After that, you can add more veggies (such as bell pepper or zucchini), toss in olives, and either a simple oil and vinegar dressing, or a full-out vinaigrette.
This one is adapted from Ina Garten’s version. Her recipe was for 12 people! It is traditional to let the whole salad sit for 30 minutes. That allows the bread to soak up the flavors. It also gives you soggy bread. Since I prefer it crisp, I ate it right away. Besides, that way there’s no waiting to eat!
I’ve cut her recipe for the vinaigrette in half and substituted white wine vinegar for Champagne vinegar. I have six or seven kinds of vinegar, and enough is enough! You can use the champagne version if you have it. This is a bit more dressing than you need for one salad, but it will keep and you can use it for something else (or more panzanella another day).
Simple Panzanella Salad for One Substitutions and Variations
- Replace the capers with olives
- Add other fresh veggies, more kinds of bell pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, or some cabbage
- Make it heartier with good quality tuna or some fresh mozzarella pearls (tiny balls of cheese)
More Side Salad Recipes
Easy, healthy, and no cooking. Serve as is, or add humus, olives, and pita for a light lunch.
Sweet/sour capers plus lemony dill combine for a salad that’s big on flavor, but light on mayo.
A lemony cucumber salad is the perfect antidote to a brutally hot day. It’s light, refreshing, and delicious too.
This Dijon mustard vinaigrette potato salad is different from the usual potato salads. Since it’s French, it’s got no mayo. Instead, there’s olive oil, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard for a bit of bite.