Last Updated on November 2, 2023 by Carne Diem
Method: Griddle, BlackstoneJump to Recipe
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This panzanella bread salad is a great recipe to make on your Blackstone, Cooking Steel, or other griddle or flattop. This Tuscan bread salad recipe is famous in Italy, though versions of the salad can be found throughout the Mediterranean. Grilled bread combines with cherry tomatoes, sauteed bell peppers, capers and a red wine vinaigrette in this summer panzanella recipe.
Table of contents
What is Panzanella Salad?
Panzanella salad is a Tuscan salad recipe consisting of bread, tomatoes, basil and other vegetables served with a tangy vinaigrette dressing. Traditionally stale bread is rehydrated in the dressing while being tossed with the additional salad ingredients. It is a favorite Italian summer salad recipe.
Making the Grilled Panzanella Salad
To make the Italian panzanella salad you will need about 4 cups of cubed bread, parsley, capers, bell peppers, garlic, basil, olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt.
We like to use herbed focaccia for our panzanella salad because it holds up well to the grilling, and adds some extra flavor to the bread salad.
To prep the panzanella salad, finely dice the bell peppers and chop the herbs. Finely mince the garlic. Drain and rinse the capers. Finally, halve the cherry or grape tomatoes.
Making the panzanella salad dressing
In a large bowl add the 2 minced garlic cloves, ¼ cup olive oil, drained capers, red wine vinegar, salt, parsley, basil, and halved tomatoes. Mix well to combine.
Cover the salad dressing and set aside.
Toasting the bread for the Panzanella Salad
This Italian bread salad is the perfect summer salad recipe to make on your Blackstone or other griddle. We love the toasted element that the grilled bread adds to the Tuscan salad.
To finish the salad ,heat your Blackstone or grill with a Cooking Steel over medium heat. Once heated, oil the surface of the griddle with cooking oil (preferably an oil with a high smoke point like avocado oil or sunflower oil).
Lightly drizzle a little olive oil over the cubed bread then toast on the griddle.
Flip and mix the breadcrumbs every minute or so to ensure even cooking. Once toasted to your liking, typically a few minutes, remove from the grill and place in the bowl.
Next sauté the bell peppers on the Blackstone or flat top. Once softened, add them to the bowl with the bread and mix well to combine.
Traditionally Italian panzanella salad is served cold, but this toasted panzanella salad can be served warm or cold, depending on your preference. Add the dressing to the bread and sauteed veggies just before serving to keep the bread from becoming soggy.
What to Serve with Panzanella Salad
Panzanella salad pairs perfectly with Italian classics like pasta and Tuscan inspired meats and seafood. Enjoy it with some Italian wine or a glass of Blackberry Red Sangria.
Check out some of our favorite Italian recipes to make on your grill or smoker:
- Grilled Italian Sausage Pasta with Arrabbiata Sauce
- Bowtie Chicken Pasta with a Balsamic Mascarpone Sauce
- Sous Vide Florentine Style Porterhouse
- Florentine Style Salmon Lasagna
- Smoked Lasagna
- Smoked Meatballs with Burrata
- Best Sicilian Style Pizza
Just because we are a meat centric blog, it does not mean we can't enjoy a good salad, especially one you can smoke of make on a grill. Check out some of our favorite salad recipes here:
- Grilled Endive Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
- Christmas Salad With Chestnuts and Cranberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Fried Boursin Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
- Smoked Arugula Salad With Bourbon Vinaigrette
- Grilled Corn and Goat Cheese Salad
Frequently Asked Questions
Traditionally Panzanella salad uses stale bread that is left over from the previous day, so many different breads can be used. The stale bread soaks up the flavors of the dressing and salad. In our Grilled Panzanella Salad we use herbed Focaccia to add more flavor to the bread salad, and because it holds up well to toasting on a griddle.
Tradionally, panzanella is served room temperature but we recommend serving the grilled panzanella salad warm.
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Grilled Panzanella Salad
- 5 Cups Focaccia cut into ½ inch cubes
- ¼ Cup Olive Oil
- 2 Garlic Cloves minced
- 1 Tablespoon Capers drained
- 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Parsley coarsely chopped
- 5 Basil Leaves coarsely chopped
- 1 Cup Cherry or Grape Tomatoes halved
- 1 Red and Green Bell Pepper each, diced
- In a large bowl add the 2 minced garlic cloves, ¼ cup olive oil, drained capers, red wine vinegar, salt, parsley, basil, and halved tomatoes. Mix well to combine.
- Heat your Blackstone or smoker with a Cooking Steel over medium heat. Once heated, oil the surface of the griddle, preferably an oil with a high smoke point like avocado oil or sunflower oil.
- Lightly drizzle a little olive oil over the cubed bread then toast on the flattop. Flip and mix the breadcrumbs every minute or so to ensure even cooking. Once toasted to your liking, typically a few minutes, remove from the grill and place in the bowl with the Panzanella salad dressing. (Note: if the bread appears to be browning to fast, or burning, move it to the cooler side of the grill and/or flip and mix it more frequently).
- Next sauté the bell peppers on the griddle. Once softened, add them to the bowl with the bread and dressing and mix well to combine.
- The Tuscan bread salad can be served warm or chilled. If not serving right away, wait until just before serving to add the dressing to the bread.