Grossy’s Guide to the Panzanella Salad
Honestly, a panzanella salad is just bread in salad drag. There is no other way to put it, but there are endless ways to make it. Delicious crispy croutons perfectly outfitted with your favorite vegetables (traditionally tomatoes, plus anything else you love) and herbs, soaked in a gorgeous vinaigrette dressing, and topped with the cheese of your choice.
"We are all born naked, the rest is just bread in drag." — RuPaul
WHAT YOU'LL NEED and WHAT YOU'LL DO:
This recipe is more so a GUIDE rather than a step-by-step. It's a "choose your own adventure" situation, and along the way, I'll clue you into my favorite ways to panzanella.
There are 5 essential elements to a panzanella salad:
6. Bake your bread at 400º until nice and crisp. You can go as dark and crispy as you want here. Croutons can be baked same day or the day before. I like to let the croutons cool before I add them to the salad as it really helps the veggies and cheese not only survive but thrive when the bread isn't too hot!
7. Now we choose our vegetables, herbs, and cheese. When I tell you any combo works in a panzanella, I mean it. This salad is a great excuse to use whatever fresh and amazing produce you have laying around. Ask yourself what herbs you love and what your favorite cheese is and just follow your heart, honey.
In the photo above, I have baby kale, heirloom tomatoes, fresh parsley, and mozzarella balls (note: cubes of feta cheese are a frequent substitute for my panzanella).
While fresh is best, I LOVE to roast vegetables (onions, carrots, brussels sprouts, what-have-you), let them cool, then add them to a panzanella. So delicious.
8. Next we choose our dressing. A simple vinaigrette is all you need; truly, oil and vinegar will do you just perfectly. I always mix it in the bottom of a big bowl, throw my ingredients in, and get my hands all dressed up by mixing it.
Pictured above is my honey mustard vinaigrette. Recipe is below:
-⅓ cup olive oil
-2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
-1 tablespoon honey
-1 tablespoon spicy mustard
-salt and pepper to taste
Whisk ingredients together until combined.