Earthy Delights Recipe

Grilled Panzanella (Tuscan Bread and Tomato Salad)

Grilled Panzanella (Tuscan Bread and Tomato Salad)
The mouthwatering salad known as “Panzanella” is a great way to use up leftover or slightly stale bread that otherwise might be tossed out. It is important to use slightly dry bread in this recipe, since fresh bread is just too soft to absorb the full flavor of the tomato juices, oil and vinegar. Leftover or day-old bread, slathered with olive oil, then grilled over a flame and rubbed with a raw garlic clove forms a perfect “sponge” for soaking up all that goodness.

1 bunch green onions, washed and trimmed
6 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the bread
1/2 loaf slightly stale French or Italian bread (about 8 oz)
1 clove raw garlic, peeled
4 – 6 small tomatoes or 2 pints ripe cherry tomatoes
2 cups mixed greens (arugula, watercress, mache, leaf lettuces, etc)
1 bunch fresh basil, rinsed, with stems removed (optional)
2 tablespoons capers, drained (optional)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
sea salt & freshly ground pepper



Preheat the grill to high.


Toss the green onions with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Grill the onions, turning from time to time, until lightly charred, about 4 minutes. Remove to a plate and allow to cool, then chop coarsely.


Toss the tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill briefly over high heat, just until the skin chars, about 3 – 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Halve or quarter the tomatoes, depending on size, retaining any juices.


Cut the bread into slices, each about an inch thick. Brush the bread slices generously with olive oil on both sides. Grill over high heat until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Slice the garlic lengthwise and rub all over the bread. Tear or cut the bread into large, bite-sized pieces.


Place the bread into a large bowl, together with the green onions, grilled tomatoes, capers, basil leaves and the mixed greens. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and vinegar and toss it all together. Season to taste with salt & pepper and allow to stand for at least an hour or two (or up to overnight) before serving.