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Pasta, Potato & Grain Salads | October 6, 2008

Panzanella- Bread salad with tomatoes and mozzarella

Panzanella- Bread salad with tomatoes and mozzarella
I love Panzanella- Bread salad with tomatoes and mozzarella- made traditionally with day old crusty Italian bread, a dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and anything else leftover. My favorite combo is bread and dressing, tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella cheese. Kalamata olives would be a perfect ingredient, but last time I made it, I was serving it to the under 12 crowd, and a few adults, so I passed on the olives.
It’s easy, and fresh, and takes just a few minutes to make. After our family dinner, I was going to throw out the leftovers until my niece, Amity said she wanted to take it home. Amity (whose name means peacefulness and friendliness- a perfect description of her) is an Art Therapist, and has an artistic flair for everything from painting to cooking. She had already come up with a plan for the leftovers- The next morning she whipped up a few eggs, added some cheese and poured it all into a pan to bake. Amity’s Italian breakfast! Her brother Brandon called and they both gave me a detailed review of the dish, which they both declared a winner!




  • 1 loaf dense crusty Italian Bread
  • 1 -2 lbs fresh mozzarella cubed
  • 2 large tomatoes cut into large chunks total of about 2 cups
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives pitted
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil chopped


  • 1-2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. Combine all dressing ingredients. Place the cubed bread on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes until toasted.(If you are short on time, or like the bread fresh and not toasted, skip this step). 

  2. In a large bowl, combine bread, cheese, tomatoes, olives and basil. Pour dressing over top, toss and serve immediately.

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  1. I’m excited about this. I love Panzanella also– although I always called it Greek Salad– because my big fat greek cousin would make this. ANyway…tonight cooking up Si’s Chicken Enchilada’s for the kids and Panzanella for me. Lovin it

  2. Hi Si, This is Jacque VanOrman, Mike’s Wife. I found your blog thru corrine’s blog. I jus want to let you know that mike and I made this Panzanella and it was AMAZING. Thanks for the recipe.