This Basil Peach Panzanella Salad is what farmers markets were made for! A Tuscan salad with a twist, this simple, 20-minute recipe uses seasonal fruits and vegetables to create an international dish that’s the perfect lunch, dinner side, or outdoor potluck.
Hey SoFabFood Readers, it’s Mahy, the die hard foodie from TwoPurpleFigs. There’s something so invigorating about the warmer months. I can almost say that this is my happiest time of the year! Back when I used to live in Miami, it was summer all year long, every year. I don’t know how I had the guts to leave Miami! I go back every year and there’s a tiny spot in my heart for that place that keeps me dreaming of going back; maybe some day.
If you have ever visited my food blog, you’ll notice that all my recipes have some kind of a twist on them. It’s my absolute favorite thing to do with food, and it comes from the many years I spent traveling from one country to the other. I can’t say for sure I enjoyed relocating when I was a kid because I just wanted my friends and school and that comfort of home. However, now when I look back, I feel that the crazy traveling life I had growing up has shaped me and certainly shaped my passion for all kinds of food.
Basil Peach Panzanella Salad
Today’s Basil Peach Panzanella Salad is a twist on a classic Tuscan salad. I lived in Paris for almost six years. During that time, I traveled to Italy a lot. With all their differences, I feel both countries are just as special, as is the food. Food wasn’t as neatly displayed in Italy as it was in France, yet it was just as mouthwatering and appealing. Food portions were different yet equally filling and hearty. Both were equally as delicious; just different!
This Panzanella salad is no exception. Classically a Tuscan Panzanella salad is simply made with ripe tomatoes, stale chunks of bread, Balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. It’s so simple and delicious. You’ll find some variations including added ingredients like basil, onions, cucumbers, sweet peppers, capers, etc. I personally find the less ingredients in any Panzanella, the better. Another bonus is you can play around with ingredients to your heart’s desire. There’s no right or wrong with a salad like this!
I love Panzanella salads for many reasons. It’s very refreshing, especially with the addition of peaches and basil here. It’s a really filling salad, thanks to the bread chunks. It can be the perfect lunch on its own, and it can also be the perfect outdoor potluck for a dinner party. It comes together in minutes, no fancy salad dressings needed; just oil and vinegar! Most importantly, this salad is a great use of all of your farmers market finds and it’s a 20-minute dish!
A fresh twist on a classic Tuscan salad!
Usually a Panzanella is made with stale bread chunks. I personally love toasting my bread in the oven for just seven minutes before adding it to the salad. It almost feels like a bit of a crunch at first, but it makes the bread hold on to its texture even if it sits for a while in the vinegar and oil. I added a touch of strawberries because I had a bunch in my fridge. Another thing I added was bocconcini cheese. This isn’t a classic at all, but it’s totally Italian and it added such a nice texture to the salad, however, this or any other cheese is optional. If you’re making this salad vegan, skip it entirely.
- 1/2 of a baguette, cut or torn into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 3 ripe peaches, sliced into 1/4 or 1/8 inch slices
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1/2 ared onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh marinated or plain bocconcini cheese
- 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
- pinch chili flakes (optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Toast the bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper) for 7-8 minutes until slightly crisp, but still chewy.
- Drizzle half of the vinegar and oil at the bottom of a salad plate.
- Start arranging the salad ingredients over the vinegar and oil mixture. Arrange the salad ingredients in order finishing off with the minced basil.
- Sprinkle the chili flakes if using, salt, and the remaining vinegar and oil.
- Enjoy right away!
Home Chef Tip: Before toasting the bread, you may season it with salt, garlic, oregano, and olive oil, or just toast plain.
We hope you enjoy this Basil Peach Panzanella Salad from SoFabFood Home Chef, Mahy from Two Purple Figs, as much as we do. If you love this recipe, be sure to visit our Salad Section for more like it. For daily recipe inspiration, like us on Facebook and follow us on Pinterest. Enjoy!