• September 3, 2014

    Grilled Panzanella (Tomato & Bread Salad)


    SEPTEMBER! How the?!

    See, my little guy was ill for a couple weeks in August, first with some baby virus (roseola, curious moms), with strep throat hot on its heels – then I caught the latter, and before I knew it August had passed and we had spent most of it laid out on the sofa in the throws of fever.

    Everyone’s all better now, and I guess it’s time to take a deep breath, strategically plot my cooking moves for the last few weeks of peach/berry/tomato/cherry season, and accept that summer is winding down. But not over!

    This salad shouts IT’S STILL SUMMER from the rooftops – it’s so vibrant and fresh, with minimal ingredients and mere seconds spent in preparation. The flavours are incredibly vibrant and balanced. Trust me, although it may technically serve four, you will want to eat the whole bowl. And that’s ok, because it’s light, summer fare.

    I always order the panzanella salad at a particular Italian restaurant we frequent – it features big chunks of torn bread (toasted into croutons), juicy fresh tomatoes, and creamy burrata. The bread soaks up the tangy vinaigrette, as well as the juices from the tomatoes. I just love it.

    My version employs the grill, which adds a wonderful charring to the bread. I use herb foccacia instead of crusty french bread, which I really think takes it to another level, as it bears so much flavour on its own. But use whatever fresh loaf you like.

    I use only enough vinegar in the dressing to cut the richness of the olive oil – since the tomatoes add their own acidity, too.

    Creamy dollops of mascarpone add sweet richness to the salad – I used it simply because I had it in my fridge to finish up, but it was so perfect it will be my new go-to. (You can substitute ricotta, but you’ll lose the amazing luxe creaminess, or burrata, which can be a bit of a splurge, but is soooo worth it.)

    Hope you all had a wonderful labour day weekend, and are easing into September rituals while still enjoying the remains of the season. What are are you cooking to hang onto the last few weeks of summer?


    • 4 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
    • ¾ tsp kosher salt
    • ? tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 250 grams (9 ounces) foccacia bread, torn in 1 1/2″ chunks
    • 3 medium heirloom tomatoes chopped in ¾” chunks (yields about 3 cups)
    • handful of torn basil leaves
    • 2 oz mascarpone
    • undefined


    1. In a large serving bowl, whisk olive oil with vinegar, salt and pepper. Grill (or broil) bread over high heat until lightly toasted and charred at edges, about 2 minutes (keep an eye on it). Add bread and tomatoes to bowl, tossing to coat with the vinaigrette; let stand 10 minutes for the tomatoes to release their juices and for the bread to absorb them.

    2. Drop spoonfuls of mascarpone onto the salad and gently toss. Scatter with basil leaves and toss again.


    Hi, I'm Jennifer Pallian, BSc, RD. I studied cooking, baking and food chemistry in a university lab, have years of experience as a professional test kitchen recipe developer and providing technical baking support to bakeries and home bakers. Want to know why your bread didn't rise? I've got your back.I now work full-time as a blogger, putting the years of science and baking to work right here. On Foodess, I share the best recipes in my arsenal - tested-till-PERFECT recipes for cozy baking, easy recipes for weeknight meals and delicious globally-inspired comfort food, plus lots of science-based cooking and baking tips. Welcome!

    Review this recipe

    Notify of


    Thanks for signing up! Check your inbox to confirm.
    Lamb Pasta Sauce September 23, 2019
    Lamb Ragu Sauce

    FacebookPinterestTwitterThick, meaty ragu with ground lamb in rich tomato sauce. A cozy, delicious lamb pasta recipe with long-cooked flavour in little time with 3 secret tricks. Nothing more comforting than a thick and meaty meat sauce amirite? This rich lamb ragu is a hearty, delicious departure from the typical Italian beef and pork players. Serve […]

    Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches August 18, 2019
    Ice Cream Sandwiches with Homemade Chocolate Wafers

    The best ice cream sandwich out there – a soft and chewy, brownie-like cookie base with vanilla ice cream in the perfect filling-to-cookie ratio.

    August 14, 2019
    Easy Couscous Salad with Lemon Dressing & Fresh Herbs

    This quick and easy couscous salad recipe is fresh, healthy and deliciously addictive. The bright lemon dressing is made from only 4 simple ingredients.