Italian bread salad Panzanella

Panzanella is one of my favorite ways to use day-old bread. It’s perfect for a refreshing summer dinner or a picnic with friends.

This dish comes from the Tuscany peasant tradition as a way of not wasting stale bread. It is also prepared in other parts of central Italy. You can find something similar also in the South of Italy, for example in the Apulia region, where they use to garnish a “donut” shaped bread, the Frisella, with a mix of fresh vegetables similar to Panzanella.

The main ingredients of Panzanella are stale bread, tomato, onion, and extra virgin olive oil. To this, they use to add also cucumbers and other garden vegetables like bell pepper. Sometimes they add hard-boiled eggs, but not everyone agrees.

Today I prepared the classic version, though I didn’t use Tuscan bread as it would require, but a baguette from a few days ago that had become too hard.


Ingredients for the Panzanella
Ingredients for the Panzanella
  • Day-old bread (be careful that there is no mold on it)
  • Garden vegetables: Ripe tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumbers, onions
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Vinegar
  • Basil

The ingredients may vary with the season and your taste.

How to make it

The recipe is very simple.

  1. Cut hard bread into chunks, and soak it with a little water and vinegar. Be careful ot to soak it too wet.
  2. Add all vegetables, washed and cut into pieces.
  3. Season with olive oil, add a pince of salt and pepper.

That’s it!


Prepare Panzanella the day before. It will be even tastier 😉

About Valentina

Valentina is an international communication consultant. She has served communication and PR agencies for several years by providing insights into local French and Italian food trends and traditions. Thanks to her multicultural background, she focuses on promoting intercultural collaboration for sustainable living.