Panzanella (Tuscany)

Quick Overview

A staple of Tuscan cuisine, or better yet, Italy’s “cucina povera”, panzanella is a healthy, delicious bread and tomato salad usually served in central Italy during the hot summer months.

A staple of Tuscan cuisine, or better yet, Italy’s “cucina povera”, panzanella is a healthy, delicious bread and tomato salad usually served in central Italy during the hot summer months. A classic peasant dish, it has its origins in the green fields of Tuscany, where farmers had to rely on locally grown produce to feed themselves while working.

The region’s love affair with bread salads goes back to the 14th century, but being prior to the discovery of the New World and the introduction of tomatoes in Europe, the original recipe was based on stale bread and onions.

Today’s panzanella, on the other hand, is made with juicy, sun-ripened tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh basil, and leftover bread, and seasoned with olive oil and vinegar