Panzanella Caprese Salad is a wonderful seasonal bread salad when the vine-ripened tomatoes are over flowing in your garden. This salad is a take-off of the delicious Insalata Caprese Salad (Tomato and Mozzarella Salad). It is a wonderful seasonal bread salad when the vine-ripened tomatoes are over flowing in your garden. This salad is a take-off of the delicious salad combines two Italian classic into one fantastic salad. You will crave and look forward to this Panzanella Caprese Salad each year.
Panzanella Caprese Salad Recipe - Tuscan Bread Salad
1 (18-inch) piece of baguette or Italian-style bread, cut into 1-inch cubes*
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
1 1/2 pounds fresh vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced into 1-inch pieces*
1 small red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
* Learn How To Peel Fresh Tomatoes. If you are in a hurry, just cut up your tomatoes without peeling and seeding. Please do not even attempt this salad with poor-quality tomatoes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place oven rack in middle of the oven.
Toss the bread cubes with the 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the bread cubes on a large baking sheet in a single layer; bake approximately 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and let cool.
Using a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in the balsamic vinegar, capers, and the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil.
Add the baked bread cubes, tomatoes, onion, mozzarella cheese, and basil; toss to combine.
Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Panzanella Salad can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated for 3 hours. Remove from refrigerator an hour or so before serving and bring to room temperature.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Sources: I slightly adapted this Panzanella Caprese Salad Recipe by Melissa Roberts, Gourmet Magazine, May 2009. Photo by Stephanie Foley, Gourmet Magazine.