A taste of summer in Italy
It is thought that Panzanella was the food of the farmers. They simply mixed bread, olive oil, salt, and the daily harvest. Some say the recipe comes from fishermen since they used old bread – softening it with water from the sea and topping it with tomatoes.
Panzanella is not the only one of Tuscany’s many simple gems. The basic recipe always includes old, stale bread (“pane” in Italian), garlic, and olive oil, but you can be creative with your own.
This dish can be paired with organic chicken or wild fish for a delightfully refreshing, flavorful summer salad – complete with carbs, protein, vitamins, minerals, and olive oil!
- 2 ripe local tomatoes, chopped into 1/2″ chunks
- 2 ½ cup cucumber, cut into 1/2″ chunks
- 1 cup radish, sliced thin
- 1 cup sweet pepper, sliced into thin strips
- 3 cups bread, cut into 1/2″ chunks
- 4 cloves garlic minced, plus 1 clove crushed
- 6 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 2 tsp fresh sorrel, chopped
- 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tsp fresh marjoram, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and salt and pepper.
- Pour vinaigrette over the vegetables and lightly mix together.
- Add herbs to vegetable mix.
- Take the crushed garlic clove and rub the bread. If you have a grill, briefly grill the bread. If not, add to a skillet and warm or toast the bread until crunchy with a bit of olive oil and crushed garlic.
- Toss the bread into the marinated vegetable mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
*This recipe can be made: Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, or Nut-free.
This recipe was inspired by the Venetucci Farm in Colorado Springs. To learn about the impact of this farm on sport nutrition graduate students visit: www.uccs.edu/swell.
Photo credit: Nanna L. Meyer