Panzanella is a great salad option for summer. I love the freshness of the tomatoes and especially the basil. This salad can be served at room temperature – I actually prefer it this way. This recipe is a twist on a traditional Panzanella salad. I call this BLT Panzanella because I’ve added bacon and arugula.
Let’s start with the bread. Cut a loaf of french or sourdough bread into cubes and toss with some olive or grapeseed oil and salt and pepper. Bake at 275 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly toasted. Set aside and let cool.
Next, slice the cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion. I used mini cucumbers and grape tomatoes.
Add the bread cubes, tomatoes, cucumbers and onion to a large mixing bowl. Crumble in four slices of bacon, cooked until crisp.
For the dressing, whisk together canola oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. The one-to-one ratio of oil and vinegar in this dressing yields a very acidic flavor, which I like. The acidity will tone down when the dressing is absorbed by the bread and other ingredients. Feel free to adjust the dressing to suit your personal tastes.
Start by pouring half of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Add remaining dressing as needed.
Refrigerate to allow the flavors to blend. Fold in arugula and basil when ready to serve. Serve cold or at room temperature.
- 4 slices thick cut bacon, cooked until crisp
- 1 loaf of sourdough or french bread
- 3 mini cucumbers or 1/2 large seedless cucumber, sliced
- 8 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 medium red onion, diced
- 1 cup arugula, packed
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- Cook bacon until crisp. Set aside.
- Cut bread into cubes and toss with oil and salt and pepper. Bake at 275 degrees for 15-20 minutes until lightly toasted. Set aside.
- Slice cucumbers and tomatoes, and dice the red onion. Add to large mixing bowl along with the bread cubes.
- Crumble the bacon and add to the bowl.
- Whisk together the oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Pour 1/2 of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Add remaining dressing as needed.
- Refrigerate to allow the flavors to blend. When ready to serve, fold in arugula and basil. Serve cold or at room temperature.