Panzanella Salad With Burrata (Tuscan Tomato & Bread Salad)

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Panzanella salad with burrata is a great summer dish! This Italian bread salad is made with seasonal tomatoes & served with creamy burrata.

panzanella salad with burrata

This classic panzanella salad is a great way to serve tomatoes when they’re in season & is the perfect summertime side or lunch dish!

We’re making this vibrant Italian salad the traditional way, with ripe tomatoes that are bursting with flavour, crisp chunks of bread, a tangy, garlicky dressing & sweet basil leaves. Then to take things up a level, we’re going to be serving each serving of our panzanella with half a creamy burrata. Fresh & absolutely jam packed full of flavour, this salad is hard to beat!

What Is A Panzanella Salad?

Originating from Tuscany, Italy, panzanella is a salad consisting of ripe tomatoes, chunks of bread, basil, onion & a tangy dressing made with vinegar, garlic & olive oil. Bread salads tend to be made with stale bread but I like to use whatever homemade bread I have kicking about, which I’ll lightly toast in the oven for a better flavour. Focaccia works really well but sourdough or ciabatta would be just as good.

What You’ll Need

  • Tomatoes – Using really good tomatoes makes all the difference in this salad! I like to make panzanella when tomatoes are in season, for the best flavour.
  • Bread – I used some homemade focaccia in my salad but sourdough or ciabatta would work just as well. It doesn’t need to be stale as we’re going to be toasting it lightly in the oven.
  • Burrata – Serving panzanella with burrata makes it even more luxurious! Make sure to serve it at room temperature, for the best flavour & texture. Some torn mozzarella could also be used instead.
  • Dressing – The dressing for this salad is super easy to make & you’ll only need 4 ingredients (garlic, dijon mustard, white wine vinegar & olive oil).
  • Fresh Basil – Tomatoes & basil are a classic combination! We’re using fresh basil leaves for a sweet, delicate flavour.
  • Capers – These are optional but add a touch of acidity, which cuts through the sweetness of the tomatoes.
  • Shallot – Some thinly sliced shallot adds some extra crunch. If you’d prefer, you can use red onion instead or leave it out completely.

How To Make Panzanella Salad

The full, printable recipe for this salad can be found at the bottom of this post! Here’s a quick rundown of the recipe…

  1. Toasting The Bread
    First, we tear our chosen bread into 2-3 cm chunks then drizzle with olive oil & season with salt and pepper. This then gets baked at 160°c/320°f for 10-15 minutes until lightly toasted. The bread should then be left to cool, before being used in the salad.
  2. Making The Dressing
    To make the dressing, we grate garlic into a mixing bowl then mix with dijon mustard & white wine vinegar. Next, we drizzle in olive oil whilst whisking constantly, to emulsify the dressing. To finish, we season the dressing with salt & pepper.
  3. Mixing The Salad
    To make the salad, we roughly chop up tomatoes & thinly slice a shallot then add into the bowl of dressing, along with the toasted bread & a spoonful of capers. This then gets tossed, to combine.
  4. Serving
    To serve we spoon the salad into two bowls then top each one with fresh basil leaves & half a burrata.

Panzanella Salad Tips & Tricks

  • Use Really Good Tomatoes – The key to making the best panzanella salad is using the best tomatoes that you can find. This salad is best made during tomato season!
  • Serve At Room Temperature – Tomatoes taste best when they’re served at room temperature. Make sure to let them sit out for an hour or so before using them in this salad. It’s also best to let the burrata sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
  • Lightly Toast The Bread – Panzanella is traditionally served with stale bread but I find that lightly toasting it in the oven gives it a better flavour & texture.
  • Season Well – Tomatoes can take a fair amount of seasoning, so make sure to add a good amount of salt & pepper to the salad & on top of the burrata.

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Panzanella Salad With Burrata (Tuscan Tomato & Bread Salad)

Panzanella salad with burrata is a great summer dish! This Italian bread salad is made with seasonal tomatoes & served with creamy burrata.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 2 Salads
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Baking Tray
  • Microplane/Grater

Ingredients

Bread

  • 150 g Bread (Focaccia, Sourdough Or Ciabatta)
  • ½ tbsp Olive Oil

Dressing

  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • ½ tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 50 g Olive Oil

The Salad

  • 400 g Ripe Tomatoes (See Notes)
  • 1 Shallot
  • 1 tsp Capers (Drained)
  • Fresh Basil
  • 1 Burrata

Instructions

Bread

  • Preheat an oven to 160°c/140°c fan (320°f/284°f).
  • Tear the bread into 2-3 cm pieces then transfer to a baking tray. Drizzle over the olive oil then season the bread with sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Bake the bread for 10-15 minutes, until lightly toasted & crisp on the edges. Give the tray a shake every 5 minutes. Once baked, set the bread aside, to cool.

Dressing

  • Grate the garlic into a large mixing bowl, add in the mustard & vinegar then whisk to combine.
  • Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly as you do so, to emulsify the dressing. Season with salt & pepper.

The Salad

  • Chop your tomatoes into rough chunks & thinly slice the shallot. Add both to the bowl of dressing, along with the chunks of bread & the capers.
  • Season the salad with salt & pepper then toss, to combine. Split the salad between two bowls then top with plenty of fresh basil leaves.
  • Cut the burrata in half then place one half on top of each salad. Season the cut side of each burrata half with salt & pepper then serve immediately.

Notes

1. Tomatoes – Good quality tomatoes make all the difference in this salad! Feel free to use whatever variety of tomato you like, just make sure to serve them at room temperature, for the best flavour.
2. Burrata – If you’d prefer to serve this salad with a different cheese, some torn mozzarella would be a good choice. If you are using burrata, make sure to let it come up to room temperature before serving.
3. Bread – I’d recommend using either focaccia, sourdough or ciabatta for this recipe. Once cooked, the bread should still be soft in the middle but crisp on the edges.
4. Serving – Panzanella salad is best served straight away. If you did want to make it in advance, you could get all the components prepped then mix with the dressing when you want to serve.

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