Panzanella Salad + Homemade Croutons

4 servings
15 min

If you've never made a panzanella salad, well you're surely missing out! Its origin is from the Tuscan region of Italy where it was originally made with stale bread, onions and olive oil. Later, cucumbers and tomatoes were added to create a sort of salad. It was also a way to use old bread without discarding it.


As you'll see below, I'm not including any exact measurements, as this recipe is truly intended for you to make with what you have available and in whatever proportions you desire. And if you've never made croutons at home, stop everything you are doing and MAKE THEM. Please don't ever buy those nasty things from the store in a bag. Once you make them at home, you'll never go back.

Panzanella Salad + Homemade Croutons

Recipe details

  • 4  servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 0 Minutes Total time: 15 min
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Ingredients

The Croutons

  • Day-old bread (sourdough is my favorite)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt/Pepper
  • optional: Italian dried herbs

The Salad

  • Tomatoes - Vine ripen, home-grown or heirloom
  • Red Onions
  • Cucumbers
  • Italian Dressing - Homemade preferred

Instructions

Homemade Croutons

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent anything from sticking.
Cut your bread into small cubes and add them to a large bowl.
Toss your cubed bread in olive oil, salt, pepper.
Bake until golden, turning once halfway through cooking in order to brown all sides of the croutons. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the cubes, so watch to be sure that they do not burn. (Mine takes between 15-20 minutes.)
Remove from oven, and let cool completely. Use right away, or store in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.
Spread out your croutons evenly on a baking sheet. avoid over crowding or overlapping.

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