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Panzanella (Tuscan Bread Salad)

This salad is a great way to use up leftover or slightly stale bread. The original is typically made with red wine vinegar and the saltless bread found throughout Tuscany. Our version has a light lemon vinaigrette and cucumbers added for another dimension.


  • Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette
  • 9 cups day-old country bread, torn into large pieces
  • 2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, large dice
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
  • 2 medium English hothouse cucumbers, halved lengthwise and cut into large dice
  • 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves, torn into large pieces


  1. Combine 1/2 of the vinaigrette with all of the bread, toss to coat well, and set aside at room temperature to marinate for about 10 minutes.
  2. When the bread has marinated, add remaining vinaigrette and all other ingredients and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Using clean hands, mix together until well incorporated. Let rest at least 15 minutes to let flavors meld, then serve at room temperature. (makes 8 servings)

Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette Recipe

This basic dressing can be used to top anything from bread salad to grilled chicken or fish.


  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 medium lemons)
  • 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 6 white anchovies, rinsed and thinly sliced (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Place lemon juice in a nonreactive bowl. Whisking continuously, add olive oil in a thin stream until well blended. Add Dijon, lemon zest, garlic, and anchovies (if using), and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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