Tomato Panzanella with Lemon Vinaigrette

This italian salad is a summer favorite in places like Tuscany, pairing baguette croutons with thre freshest of summer ingredients. When you use them ripe, right-from-the-vine, it’s the tomatoes that make the magic happen in a recipe. This recipe for panzanella, an Italian salad, pairs baguette croutons with the freshest ingredients of an Up North summer. It's simple and flexible, so add and delete ingredients at will to serve as a lunch by the lake or as part of a wonderful summer dinner.


  • For Vinaigrette
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed
  • lemon juice For Salad Day-
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Pinch freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • In a small jar with a lid, shake together
  • all ingredients. Or whisk together first
  • five ingredients in a bowl, then slowly pour in olive oil, whisking briskly until incorporated. Store, covered, in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature. Shake or stir just before serving.
  • old baguette or other flavorful artisan bread, cubed
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Generous pinch of sea salt
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ripe heirloom tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small cucumber, halved, seeded and sliced
  • 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • Small handful fresh mint, chopped
  • Small handful fresh herbs, such as oregano, basil or thyme, chopped


Preheat oven to 400°F. On a baking sheet with a lip, toss cubed bread with garlic, olive oil and sea salt. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Gently toss remaining ingredients with baguette croutons and the lemon vinaigrette. Serve within 15 minutes so the bread maintains its crunch. Serves 4 to 6.

Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski