Panzanella Salad with Herb Vinaigrette
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: large salads
Simple, rustic and delicious this Panzanella Salad is, with skillet-grilled sourdough bread. Hearty enough for a meal, light enough for summer.
What to get:
For the Dressing:
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup EVOO (good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 2T dry white wine
  • 1.5 tsp fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1.5 tsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • ⅛ tsp fresh lemon zest
  • sea salt & black pepper, to taste
For the Salad:
  • fresh loaf sourdough bread, sliced thickly
  • extra virgin olive oil, for basting bread (garlic-infused if possible)
  • shredded parmesan cheese, for bread
  • dried Italian seasoning, for bread
  • fresh head of butter lettuce, leaves rinsed & air dried
  • variety of red, yellow & green heirloom tomatoes (ripe), sliced & halved
  • cucumber, peeled sliced and then halved
  • red onion, thinly sliced
  • capers (from jar), use to taste (~ ½ tsp)
  • pancetta, sliced and chopped
What to do:
Make Dressing (in small jar):
  1. Combine all above dressing ingredients, with salt & pepper to taste, in a small glass jar or container you can shake.
  2. Dressing will naturally separate, so shake right before pouring.
Assemble Salad:
  1. Chop pancetta slices into small pieces and crisp on a heated pan on the stove till brown.
  2. Drain crisped pancetta on paper towels and set aside.
  3. Baste thick slices of sourdough with garlic infused EVOO (or regular with a tsp of minced fresh garlic).
  4. Sprinkle top of bread with small amount of dried Italian herbs.
  5. Grill on both sides of skillet/grill pan, until bread is crisp and brown (adding shredded parm to the 2nd top side of bread for it to melt/make a crust.
  6. Cut grilled slices into large chunks.
  7. In individual serving bowels/plates, add a base of cleaned & dried butter lettuce leaves (torn), red onion, cucumber, grilled bread pieces, sliced tomatoes, capers, and some of the crisp pancetta.
  8. Top with generous amount of herb vinaigrette & little extra shaved/shredded parmesan if desired.
This is easy to assemble, but if making ahead, don't put on dressing until right before serving, so bread doesn't end up soggy. Use different colors of heirloom tomatoes and remove seeds and juices from tomatoes as necessary (depending on how ripened they are). Dressing stores best in refrigerator because of fresh herbs, but it will solidify some. Can be left on counter for a couple of days however.
Serving size: one salad
Recipe by the dinnervine at