A classic Tuscan bread salad with a twist: Peach and Tomato Panzanella salad is fresh, bursting with vibrant flavor, and the perfect healthy side!

Panzanella salad with peaches and tomatoes

Getting bored of your regular, rinky dink green salad?! Yeah, me too 😉 That’s why I’m making this beautiful peach and tomato panzanella salad because I love my Italian side, I love bread, and I love all of the beautiful summer produce!

I think people would be shocked at how refreshing and light this salad tastes for being a traditional Tuscan bread salad…okay my version isn’t so traditional, but it still has bread, and it’s still somehow incredibly easy and an absolute crowd pleaser!

One of my favorite parts about this salad is that it’s very customizable. Don’t like asparagus? Swap in cucumber! Are you plant based? This salad is already vegan! Need it to be gluten free? It tastes amazing with a gluten free bread! 🙂

close up of traditional Tuscan bread salad

See what I mean?

Okay, so you’re probably wonderful what the heck is this bread salad and why you should make it for your next barbecue! First, let’s explain its origins and then I’ll get into how I basically went rogue and made a very summery version of a very traditional dish!

Traditional Tuscan Bread Salad

So where did panzanella salad come from? Glad you asked!

I had actually never tired panzanella until I studied abroad my junior year of college. My host mom made this amazing Tuscan bread salad, and I became obsessed!

panzanella salad with salad tongs

At first, I thought, “A salad without lettuce? Slightly odd…”

But who says a salad has to have lettuce! This bread salad certainly holds its own without the lettuce 😉 Anyways!

It originates from Italy! Back in the 16th century, panzanella salad was really just based off of onions. It wasn’t until the 20th century that it soon became tomato panzanella, filled with basil and cucumbers!

Now, I decided to take this classic Tuscan bread salad a step further with a few summery twists!

3/4 view of peach and tomato panzanella

Panzanella Salad Ingredients

Crusty Bread Loaf: now traditional Tuscan bread salad would use a salt-less bread. The Tuscans are actually known for that! However, you can use whichever bread is your favorite 🙂 I highly recommend a large ciabatta roll or sourdough (I know, not very Italian, haha, but it tastes good!). If you’re gluten free, feel free to swap in your favorite gluten free bread!

Peaches: what I love most about summer is the beautiful fruit! Peaches really tie this tomato panzanella all together!

Mini Heirloom Tomatoes: instead of using large tomatoes, much like the traditional panzanella salad, I opted for mini heirloom tomatoes!

Asparagus: another (very liberal) twist on my panzanella salad is the use of asparagus. Feel free to use cucumber here in place of asparagus, but I thought that it’s in season now, and it tastes great, so why the heck not?!

Parsley: typically, you don’t find parsley in panzanella, but I just love the taste of it, especially with basil! Just a little bit chopped up goes a long way!

Basil: thank you to the genius who brought the basil into the panzanella in the 20th century haha! I loveeee fresh basil! We grow some in our backyard, and it is phenomenal!

Lemon: in place of vinegar, I opted for lemon because I feel it tastes better with the fruit!

Olive Oil: because what is an Italian dish without a little olio d’olivo?! I always recommend using a high quality olive oil because it just tastes better. The California olive oils are really good, but if you’re Italian like me, and you really like your heritage…Italian olive oil is a good bet then 😉

loaf of bread with peaches, asparagus, shallots, heirloom tomatoes, basil, and parsley

How to assemble your summer panzanella salad

Let’s start with steaming the asparagus first! Make sure that your asparagus is chopped into 1 inch pieces, and place them into a medium sauté pan with a little water.

Turn on the heat and cover. Let steam for a few minutes and then remove from heat and drain. You can set the asparagus aside while we work on the rest of the peach and tomato panzanella salad! If you don’t want to use asparagus, you can absolutely use cucumber or just omit all together!

Now for the main event! Cube your crusty loaf of bread, and dice your mini heirloom tomatoes and peaches. Set the peaches aside, and combine the tomatoes with the bread in a large bowl. Toss with olive oil and set aside. Next we’ll move onto the shallots!

saute pan with cubed bread and tomatoes

Heat a large sauté pan with a little olive oil and cook the sliced shallots until they’re translucent. Add in your bread and tomato mixture, sprinkle with a little sea salt, and lightly sauté until the tomatoes have cooked.

Remove from heat and pour your bread mixture into a large serving dish (this is where the “zanella” comes in from panzanella salad! “Pane” means “bread” and “zanella” usually stands for the deep dish in which it’s served!). Top with your diced peaches, asparagus, chopped basil, parsley, and a little sea salt and pepper to finish.

Add on a squirt of lemon juice, and there ya go! A perfectly refreshing, light, and healthy peach and tomato panzanella salad!

finished panzanella salad in deep dish serving bowl

What to serve panzanella with

So maybe you’re wondering, well, great, I now have this large salad, so what do I do with it?!

Well! I absolutely love this salad on its own, with a little additional protein, such as prosciutto or soft boiled eggs. However, this recipe is completely plant based, so you can keep it that way and add in some chickpeas!

small plate of panzanella salad

I also love this panzanella served at a barbecue with burgers and veggie burgers, a spinach salad, fruit salad…all of the sides!

Now that we have the main meals covered…let me get you thinking about some dessert that would go very well with this peach and tomato panzanella salad 😉

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Banana Bread

Mini No Bake Cheesecakes

Paleo Vegan Ice Cream

Panzanella salad with peaches and tomatoes

I hope you love this salad as much as I do! Happy dicing!

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Panzanella salad with peaches and tomatoes

Peach and Tomato Panzanella Salad

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  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Salads
  • Method: Stove

Description

A classic Tuscan bread salad with a twist: Peach and Tomato Panzanella salad is fresh, bursting with vibrant flavor, and the perfect healthy side!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 ripe peaches
  • 1/3 + 1 tbsp cup olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped mini heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 cup asparagus, sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 loaf crusty bread, cubed
  • 1 lemon
  • Sea salt + pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. First, make sure that your bread, tomatoes, peaches, asparagus, and herbs are chopped and cubed per the ingredient requirements above.
  2. Lightly steam your chopped asparagus in a sauté pan with a little water, until the asparagus begins to soften.
  3. Drain and set aside to cool.
  4. Next, place bread and tomatoes into a large bowl and drizzle with 1/3 cup olive oil. Toss until evenly coated.
  5. Heat a large pan with 1 tbsp olive oil, and sauté the diced shallots. 
  6. Add in the bread and tomatoes to the pan and sauté until the tomatoes are throughly cooked.
  7. Pour bread and tomato mixture into a large serving dish. 
  8. Toss in asparagus and peaches.
  9. Garnish with chopped basil and parsley, a little sea salt and pepper, and finish with lemon juice over the entire salad.
  10. Toss and serve cold!