Summer Fruit and Vegetable Panzanella


Prep time 15mins
Cook time 20mins
Serves or Makes: 4 servings


Traditional Panzanella Base

  • 1/ 2 loaf (about 8 ounces) bread, torn or cut into large pieces
  • 1/ 4 cup vinegar, such as red wine, white wine or balsamic
  • 1/ 2 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1/ 4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces ripe tomatoes, any variety cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/ 4 cup fresh basil or mint leaves, torn

Late Spring/Early Summer Variation

  • 4 ounces (about 2 cups) strawberries or raspberries, halved
  • 1 medium cucumber, halved lengthwise then cut into half moons
  • 1 ear fresh corn, kernels cut from cob
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into 1" cubes

Mid-Summer Variation

  • 3 pieces ripe stone fruit (such as peaches, nectarines, or plums), pitted and cut into wedges
  • 1 medium zucchini or yellow squash, sliced and grilled 
  • 2 cups ripe cherries, pitted and halved

Late Summer Variation

  • 6 ripe figs, halved or quartered
  • 1 eggplant, sliced and grilled or roasted
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced and grilled or sauteed
  • 1 cup grapes, any variety, halved

Optional Add-ins (and yes, lettuce is optional in this salad)

  • Tuscan Kale, thinly sliced
  • Radicchio, torn into bite-size pieces
  • Romaine lettuce, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • Olives, any variety
  • Cheese, such as (crumbled pecorino, shaved parmesan, or fresh mozzarella)
  • Meat, such as (salame, prosciutto, garlicky grilled chicken)

For the panzanella base


  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 300F degrees.

  • Step 2

    Arrange bread on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for about 20 minutes, until dried and crisp.

  • Step 3

    Meanwhile, make the dressing. Whisk vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until combined. Set aside half the dressing, then add red onion, tomatoes, and basil or mint to the bowl, tossing to coat.

To finish


  • Step 1

    Add seasonal fruit and vegetables into the bowl with bread and any add-ins and toss until well-combined. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and additional dressing to taste. Allow panzanella to sit for 10 minutes before serving into bowls.