Tuscan Panzanella


An Italian classic! Christian Pritchard shares the rustic flavours of Tuscany in this perfect warm weather salad.



14 oz (400 g) day-old Tuscan country bread
1 small cucumber
2 small white onions
7 tbsp (100 mL) olive oil
2-3 tbsp red wine vinegar
generous 1 lb (500 g) ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 handful arugula
to taste salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Cut the bread into slices about ¾ inch (2 cm) thick and soak them in a bowl of cold water for no more than 10 minutes.
  2. Peel the cucumber, cut it in half length-wise, and remove the seeds.  Thinly slice the cucumber halves.  Slice the onions into fine rings.  Thoroughly squeeze the water out of the bread slices and tear into bite-size pieces.
  3. Heat half of the olive oil in a nonstick pan and sauté the bread, turning it constantly.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
  4. Whisk together the remaining olive oil, the vinegar, salt, and pepper in a larger bowl, combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, toasted bread, and dressing.
  5. Rinse the arugula, pat it dry, and remove any wilted leaves and coarse stems.  Line four bowls with the arugula and arrange the bread salad on it.  In the original version, bread salad was covered and left to marinate in a cool place for several hours. Nowadays, it is usually served immediately so that the toasted bread remains crispy.


Video: Tuscan Panzanella

Also on CBC