Panzanella, a Tuscan bread and tomato salad, is a traditional dish from the Tuscan region of Italy. This salad is made with stale bread, tomatoes, onions, basil, and olive oil.
The origins of Panzanella go back to ancient Rome as a way to use stale bread and other leftovers.
Tuscany is where the dish took became as we know it today. The combination of fresh tomatoes, basil, and olive oil give the dish a bright and refreshing flavor, while the bread adds a satisfying crunch.
If you want to experience a taste of Tuscany without leaving home, give this Panzanella recipe a try.
Panzanella (Tuscan Bread and Tomato Salad)
This recipe is by Paola Lovisetti Scamihorn, of Passion and Cooking.
200 g (7 oz) Tuscan bread, or whole grain bread cut into small pieces
3 Romano tomatoes, cut into cubes
2 cucumbers, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 red onion, finely sliced
120 g (4 oz) canned tuna in olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoon water
12 fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a big bowl place the tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion, and season with salt and pepper. Add bread, vinegar and water. Toss all the ingredients together. The bread should be wet but not soggy. Break it up with a fork. Add tuna and mix well. Taste and add more salt, pepper, and vinegar, if necessary. Tear in basil and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve cold.
Note: Since the recipe calls for tuna canned in olive oil, no other oil is needed. If you use tuna canned in water, it is recommended to add 2-3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. You can substitute Tuscan bread with other hearty Italian breads, such as a Pugliese loaf.
Rachel K. Belkin, M.Ed is an Austin, Texas writer, creator, educator, speaker, and entrepreneur. She enjoys travel and spent time studying abroad in both Spain and Costa Rica. She contributes to her websites rachelkbelkin.com and probetheglobe.com, HuffPost, AP, NewsBreak, Matador Network, Hometalk, and more. She has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, CBS Austin, and other news and media outlets.