The Panzanella That Will Remind You Of Summer

Some of the most delightful recipes were born of a need to use up leftovers — and that's exactly what makes panzanella salad so genius. A key ingredient in this Italian salad hailing from Tuscany is day-old bread. When toasted until crisp and tossed with the other salad ingredients, it soaks up all of those delicious flavors and gets a new lease on life. The zesty vinaigrette with shallots and Dijon mustard really pushes it over the top.

Panzanella salad can be made all year long with a variety of seasonal ingredients: tomatoes in summer, fresh peas in spring, or roasted squash in autumn. This recipe in particular from recipe developer Sher Castellano is perfect for any time of the year, with juicy oranges, pleasantly bitter radicchio, and sweet fennel. The resulting salad is oh-so-colorful and boasts a wide variety of both crisp and tender textures. You're sure to fall in love with its bright, nuanced flavors.

Gather the ingredients for this panzanella salad

This salad is made up of three parts: the salad, the dressing, and the bread. The salad itself is comprised of sweet oranges, bitter radicchio, and fennel. The dressing, which is a combo of shallots, Dijon mustard, and red wine vinegar, gets even better when you use a top-quality extra-virgin olive oil. As for the bread, pretty much anything goes, though be aware that since many of the other ingredients in this salad are super flavorful, you might not want to use a bread that has too assertive a flavor profile of its own.

"Traditionally, panzanella uses Tuscan bread that's stale and unsalted," says Castellano, who recommends baguette but also notes that pretty much anything aside from sliced white bread will work.

Toast the bread for the panzanella

There's almost no cooking when it comes to making this panzanella. The only exception? Toasting the bread. Spraying the pieces with an olive oil spray ensures they emerge golden brown and crisp after a quick trip through the oven.

Castellano notes that it's best to toast the bread even if it's already day-old. "I like to have the bread toasty to give it a more substantial (less mushy) texture," she says. So pop those cubes in the oven and let them hang out — we'll get back to them soon!

Slice the fennel for this panzanella salad

With a panzanella salad like this, aiming for a variety of textures is a great way to make it even more delicious. The radicchio is simply torn into bite-sized pieces, but for the fennel, you'll want ultra-thin slices. For this, Castellano relies on a mandoline. "Mandolines create even slices and are a more precise way to cut something," she says. "I generally avoid having a lot of kitchen gadgets, but mandolines are useful."

Of course, if you don't have one, a very sharp knife will do the job. Just watch your fingers!

Peel the oranges for your panzanella salad

The oranges in this salad add a lovely burst of sweetness. But before adding them, you'll want to peel them — and not with your fingers. Like all citrus, oranges have a white pith between their skin and the fruit within. Left on, it has an unpleasant, stringy texture and bitter flavor. Luckily, it's easy to remove.

To peel your oranges for this panzanella salad recipe, first slice off the top and bottom, so that the orange looks a bit like a flat cylinder and can stand on one end. Then use a sharp knife to peel off the skin, removing the white pith as you go but reserving as much of the fruit as possible. When your orange is completely naked, cut it in half lengthwise and then slice into pretty half-moons.

Make the vinaigrette for this panzanella salad

Next up, it's time to make a simple Dijon vinaigrette for your panzanella. A combo of extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper is jazzed up with the addition of a tablespoon of minced shallots. Their sweet, aromatic nature will help unite all of the other flavors in this salad.

As always, when making a vinaigrette, it's important to rely on a good-quality olive oil, the fruitiness of which will help make the other ingredients shine.

Assemble the panzanella salad

If you've timed things out right, your mise en place should be ready by the time the bread emerges from the oven. Dump the radicchio and fennel on the sheet pan, drizzle on the dressing, and toss to combine. Then add the oranges and toss once more.

"The pan is a great way to toss everything together while avoiding more dirty dishes," says Castellano. Top with an extra touch of freshly ground black pepper, and this panzanella salad is ready to serve and enjoy!

The Panzanella That Will Remind You Of Summer
5 from 27 ratings
Some of the most delightful recipes were born of a need to use up leftovers — and that's exactly what makes panzanella salad so genius.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
5
minutes
Servings
4
servings
panzanella salad
Ready in 15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup baguette (or other bread), torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus spray olive oil
  • ½ small head radicchio (1 cup torn)
  • 1 medium orange
  • 1 medium fennel bulb (1 cup sliced)
  • ½ cup parsley, roughly chopped
  • ½ tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon shallots, finely minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spread the torn baguette pieces out on a sheet pan. Lightly coat the bread with olive oil spray, and bake 5 minutes or until warm and lightly toasted. Set aside on the tray.
  3. Meanwhile, tear the radicchio into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice the fennel on a mandoline (or with a very sharp knife). Using a knife, peel the orange, slicing off the white pith as well as the rind. Cut into half-moons and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, mustard, shallots, salt, and pepper until smooth.
  5. Add the radicchio and fennel to the bread on the sheet pan. Drizzle on the dressing and toss to combine. Add the oranges and toss lightly once more. Serve garnished with black pepper.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 105
Total Fat 3.9 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 16.1 g
Dietary Fiber 3.4 g
Total Sugars 6.3 g
Sodium 261.7 mg
Protein 2.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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