There’s a lot to like about panzanella. For starters, it’s a “salad” consisting mostly of bread. (Already off to a good start.) And this bread is actually repurposed stale bread, which is another reason to love this Tuscan classic. Traditionally, juicy tomatoes are tossed in, but our version uses charred red peppers instead—with creamy cheese thrown in for good measure. Revisit this recipe come peak tomato season, but until then, get creative with the summer veggies you have on hand. Don’t let anything stop you from enjoying this al fresco favorite starting right now.Print
- 3 large bell peppers (about 2 pounds)
- 7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons basil leaves, roughly torn
- 1/2 loaf (about 6 ounces) sourdough or country-style bread, roughly torn
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced soppressata, prosciutto, or pastrami
- 4 ounces burrata, mozzarella, or other creamy cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat broiler.
- Toss bell peppers with 2 tablespoons olive oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper.
- Broil peppers, turning occasionally, until skins are charred in spots and blistered all over, about 10–12 minutes. Transfer peppers to a large bowl, cover with foil, and let sit 15 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees.
- Once cool enough to handle, remove skin and seeds from peppers and discard. Then, cut peppers into 2-inch strips. Add peppers to a large bowl with onion, garlic, vinegar, red pepper flakes, and 3 tablespoons oil. Set aside.
- Toss bread with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Season with salt. Bake, tossing occasionally, until golden brown but still soft, about 8–10 minutes. Let cool.
- Toss pepper mixture, bread, and soppressata in a large bowl. Arrange on platter with burrata, finish with torn basil leaves, and serve!