How to prepare the perfect “Panzanella”

Sara Provenzano

Sara Provenzano is the Contributing Editor at Global Storybook (Italy).
You can read more about Sara here.

Italy is known worldwide for its history, the beauty of its cities and of course its food: Panzanella is something you have to try at least once!

Mediterranean Diet is as easy as it is delicious with great simplicity of its ingredients.  Bread, pasta, tomatoes, olive oil, fish, seasonal fruit and vegetables that are easy to find and cook.

Dishes and recipes often come from local and familiar traditions rather than created by chefs.  So many recipes are ideally suited for home cooking.

If you are in Tuscany or Lazio region, in a hot summer day, you cannot escape from a good and fresh Panzanella.


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Here is what you need:

  • Stale Bread (unsalted if you are in Tuscany, or Lariano if you are in Lazio)
  • San Marzano red tomatoes (the long red one)
  • Tropea red onions
  • Fresh Basil leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Vinegar
  • Salt (as you like!)
  • Pepper (if you like!)

How to prepare the perfect “Panzanella”:

  • In a bowl, soak the stale bread in some water and vinegar for about 20/25 minutes, just the time that bread becomes soft.
  • In another bowl cut the tomatoes and the red onions.
  • Squeeze the bread and pour it into the bowl together with tomatoes and onions.
  • Mix with your hands.  Add salt, pepper, olive oil and, in the end, some basil.
  • Put the bowl in the fridge for at least 1 hour and take it out 15 minutes before serving.
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Try it and tell me what you think.

You can keep it in the fridge for maximum 2 days, but… I don’t think it will last too long!

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