This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure for more info.
Peach panzanella salad is a deliciously fresh way to repurpose leftover stale bread. This summery crowd pleasing recipe will hit you with layers of flavor in every single bite.
I’ve been patiently waiting for peaches to be in season so I could finally make this panzanella salad. And while it certainly can be made with other ingredients, I love the natural sweetness peaches add to the dish.
Summer produce is just the best!
Especially, the fruit such as strawberries to make strawberry grapefruit popsicles, watermelon to cool down with a frozen watermelon marg, an overflow of juicy ripe tomatoes to make burst cherry tomato pasta on repeat, blackberries to make blackberry lemon bread… The list goes on and on.
What is Panzanella?
Panzanella is a type of salad that originated in Tuscany, Italy as a way to use up stale bread. Although there are many variations, traditional panzanella has chunks of stale bread, onion, and tomatoes that are tossed in an olive oil and vinegar dressing. Many times, it also includes cucumber and fresh basil.
- Crusty bread – sourdough, French, ciabatta, or baguette.
- Tomatoes – any ripe tomatoes will do (the juicier the better).
- Cucumber – English, hot house, or Persian are the best for this salad as they contain the least amount of seeds and have a very crunchy texture.
- Peach – you can use white, yellow, or donut peaches.
- Fresh basil – for a garnish.
- Olive oil.
- Red wine vinegar.
- Dijon mustard.
- Salt & pepper.
Substitutions & Variations
Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.
How can you make this summery peach Panzanella salad using what you already have? Here are some ideas…
- No cucumber? – sub another crunchy vegetable such as bell pepper or use extra peaches.
- No peaches? – use nectarines instead.
- No shallots? – you can use red onion or omit completely if you don’t like raw onion/shallots.
- No red wine vinegar? – other vinegars to use: white wine, champagne, or sherry.
- Add-ins – sliced bell peppers, olives, capers, chickpeas, dairy-free mozzarella or regular
Frequently Asked Questions
A traditional Tuscan panzanella is made with ripe tomatoes, dried Italian bread, and simple olive oil and vinegar dressing.
You can use fresh bread, just bake it first for 2-3 minutes in the oven to dry it out before toasting it with olive oil and salt.
Even if your bread is dried out, toasting it in the oven allows it to keep some texture without becoming completely soggy when mixed with the dressing.
Panzanella doesn’t keep very well. It’s best if eaten with 1-2 days. If you’d like to eat some later in the week, leave a portion of the salad out along with the dressing so that it keeps well until ready to eat.
More Salad Recipes You’ll Love
Peach Panzanella Salad
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Cut your bread into 1-inch cubes and toss with olive oil and salt before toasting in the oven for 10 minutes until lightly golden brown.
- Meanwhile cut or halve the tomatoes and gently toss them with about 1/4 tsp of kosher salt. Then transfer them to a colander with a bowl underneath to catch the juices. Set aside.
- Now cut the cucumbers and peach into bite-sized pieces.
- When the bread is done, let it cool on a wire rack for a few minutes. And while it's cooling, make the dressing in the bowl that has the tomato juice. To it add the olive oil, vinegar, dijon mustard, minced garlic and shallot, salt, and pepper. Whisk until combined and set aside.
- To a serving platter, add the chunks of toasted bread, tomatoes, cucumber, peaches, and torn basil leaves Lightly mix the dressing throughout the salad.
- Allow the Panzanella to sit for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving, so the flavors have time to meld and the bread can soak up some of the dressing.
- Top with more fresh basil just before serving.