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Panzanella Salad


Italian Bread Salad

Italian Bread Salad

S. Wongkaew

If you've got any day-old bread around the house then put it to good use with this rustic Italian Panzanella salad.

In this recipe the bread is grilled until crispy and then rubbed with garlic. It's served with green peppers (capsicum), tomatoes, cucumber, black olives and Spanish onion and topped with a delicious dressing of red wine vinegar, anchovies and extra virgin olive oil.


  • 1/2 loaf of crusty French bread or baguette, cut into 1 inch (2.5cm) slices
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 green pepper (capsicum)
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 100g pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/2 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp of white vinegar
  • 1 cucumber, peeled
  • 3-4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of basil leaves
  • Sea salt and pepper for seasoning


  1. Soak the Spanish onion in cold water for 20 minutes with 1 teaspoon of white vinegar. After this time, drain the onion and rinse under cold water. This helps to reduce the strong onion flavor. Set aside.
  2. Pre-heat the oven grill. Place slices of bread on a greased baking dish. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of olive oil. Grill bread for 3-8 minutes, depending on grill, until crispy and golden. Remove from oven and rub bread with garlic cloves. Tear into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
  3. Wash and pat dry all the vegetables. Cut and de-seed the pepper. Cut into bite-sized squares. Cut the tomatoes and cucumber into a similar sized pieces as the pepper. Set aside.
  4. Prepare the dressing. Combine 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a small mixing bowl. Add the red wine vinegar, anchovies and black pepper. Whisk vigorously with a fork until combined.
  5. Place pepper, tomato, cucumber, olives and Spanish onions into a large mixing bowl. Add the dressing and toss well. Add the bread pieces and torn basil leaves and toss again. Taste the salad and add a little salt if necessary but you may find that the anchovies will provide enough salt.
  6. Divide amongst two serving bowls and serve immediately.
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