Summerfest 2010: Summer Panzanella

by Cate on August 31, 2010


Summer just isn’t the same without a few rounds of Panzanella, an Italian bread salad, hitting our dinner table.  It is one of my favorite go-to recipes during the hot summer months, and it’s such a perfect way celebrate the flavors we enjoy most this time of year … big juicy red tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, fresh basil.  It does everything but scream summer.

The Panzanella version that I usually go for is this Tyler Florence one from his Eat This Book cookbook, and it was especially perfect for tonight’s Summerfest 2010 round-up since this week’s magical ingredient is the pepper.  Roasted red peppers are a unique (and delicious) addition to this salad, and it seems only fitting that we include this dish in our last full week of summer vacation.  You know, for those of us that actually are on summer vacation (yes, I’m talking to you, Nick!).

For more pepper inspiration, do check in on what my fellow Summerfesters are serving up. And oh, in the meantime, good news! Because of the popularity of the Summerfest weekly round-up, there will be a Fall version getting underway on September 22nd (full details here).

Alison at Food2: Making Hot Pepper-Infused Vodka

Michelle at Cooking Channel: A Peck of Perfect Pepper Recipes

Nicole at Pinch My Salt: Pickled Serrano Peppers

Kirsten at the FN Dish: Chiles Rellenos and More Stuffed Peppers

Liz at Healthy Eats: 10 Ways To Eat Sweet Peppers

Margaret at A Way to Garden: Oven-roasted peppers, and freezing how-to

Caroline at The Wright Recipes: Homemade Harissa & Sweet and Spicy Peperonata

The Gilded Fork: Dossier and recipes on peppers spicy and sweet

Paige at The Sister Project: Grilled Tomatillo Salsa with Jalapenos

Caron at San Diego Foodstuff: Consuelo’s Hot Chile Sauce and Hatch Chiles

Alana at Eating from the Ground Up: Homemade hot sauce, and why gloves are a good idea

Food Network, UK: It’s Chili Weather

Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence’s cookbook, Eat This Book.

1 French boule, or loaf of round Tuscan bread, torn into bite-size pieces (I use a baguette)
Extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
3 anchovy fillets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1/2 a lemon, or as needed
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon capers, drained
2 roasted red bell peppers, shredded by hand
1/2 pint red cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 pint yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1/2 bunch of basil, torn into largish pieces
1/4 cup celery leaves, torn into largish pieces

Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the bread chunks with 1/4 cup oil until the bread is wet with the oil. Spread the bread on a baking sheet and back until the bread begins to brown, about 10 minutes. While the bread is going, make the dressing. Use a large knife to chop and mash the garlic, anchovies, and salt to a paste on a cutting board. Scrape it into a large mixing bowl, add the lemon juice, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and stir together. Add all of the rest of the ingredients and gently stir. Taste for seasoning. Finally, add the toasted bread and toss it all together. Taste it and season one last time with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne September 1, 2010 at 6:16 am

Panzanella is the perfect summer salad because you can really throw any summer veggie in it. Plus, all that bread just makes it dreamy!

I’m so excited that Summerfest is being extended to fall! I can’t wait to see what everyone does with fall veggies.


TheKitchenWitch September 1, 2010 at 7:57 am

We’ve been feasting on a lot of panzanella of late. It’s just summer in a bowl, don’t you think?


The Neighbor Wife September 1, 2010 at 8:57 am

I love Panzanella salad. There is a restaurant in Short Hills that has a great one. They put goat cheese in it. It’s so good.


Sarah September 1, 2010 at 9:44 am

Looks lovely!

I’m so excited that summer turns into Fall Fest! We’re big pepper lovers in our home and are enjoying them fresh as well as canning them for fall and winter hamburgers, chilis, chile rellenos, soups and stews.

After living in New Mexico for four years for college, I fell in love with Hatch Green Chile and in this post show you how to oven roast them as well as can them for the pantry (and directions for freezing are included as well)

And one of our favorite condiments when we eat Mexican food is jalapenos en escabeche. I make mine lacto-fermented and raw and, in the fridge, they last forever! We’re finishing a jar that I made up last year! The carrots are my favorite while the jalapenos are my husband’s:

Thank you for hosting Fall Fest! I can’t wait to read the other participants!



Laurita November 25, 2012 at 6:58 am

Thank you for sharing! My mom used to make stfuefd peppers and I just loved them. I always thought they’d be difficult, but this sounds pretty easy! I’m going to try the recipe with ground turkey breast!


Naseer September 1, 2010 at 9:57 am

I can’t believe I’ve never had panzanella before! Thanks for the recipe.

Here’s a recipe that we posted on Green Thumb Geeks earlier when the pepper harvest was booming:

Cheddar-Stuffed Jalapeno Burger


Mary Schier September 1, 2010 at 11:13 am

This red pepper relish gets me through the long Minnesota winters. It is great on anything bland (fish, squash soup) but is also wonderful poured on cream cheese and spread on crackers.


Prerna@IndianSimmer September 1, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Will you be mad or laugh if I say that I’ve heard of this dish/recipe for the first time today? But I love it! Will give it a try to know how it tastes :-)
I’m sharing one of my recipes this week which I had posted a while back in my blog and its sooo peppery :-)


Kim September 1, 2010 at 1:07 pm

I recently made two pepper-based sauces (one red, one green) over at Flexitarian Foodie–check it out…


Ramona September 1, 2010 at 1:48 pm

It looks refreshing. Might have to try that soon.


Naseer @ GreenThumbGeeks September 1, 2010 at 8:55 pm

One more contribution for Summer Fest on Green Thumb Geeks by Emily: Jalapeno Poppers!


Purple Cook September 2, 2010 at 7:18 am

Fall Fest:
I made this pepper dish last week and dropped it on the floor and ruined it with shattered glass. And I was so looking forward to eating it. I tried again last night and really enjoyed my dinner.

Pesto Sausage and Peppers with Cous Cous


One Hungry Mama September 2, 2010 at 10:03 am

Panzanella… Mmmmm! I make a Bacon & Chicken Panzanella that’s dee-lish!

But, I digress… Summer Fest is all about peppers this week and I shared a round up of One Hungry Mama pepper recipes including a Red Pepper Walnut Dip, Grilled Tuna & Cubanelle Peppers w/ Olive & Caper Vinaigrette, Roasted Poblano Cream Sauce, and more!


Kathleen September 2, 2010 at 7:33 pm
Brittney September 5, 2010 at 10:25 am

I’ve been a quiet reader for a long time, but I have to say, this looks fantastic! I don’t think I’ve ever had a panzanella before, but this looks like a great first one to try. I was so excited when I saw about this summerfest continuing, since I haven’t kept up all summer…this is what I tried:


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