Meet Tuscan Panzanella Salad, featuring fresh tomatoes, basil, onions, peppers and whatever other vegetables you like (cukes?). It’s a substantial main-dish salad that you’ll add to your regular summer menu after you try it once.
I can’t believe summer is nearly over, but there it is, Labor Day, looming on the calendar like an exclamation point to the passing season. Summer! Done! Don’t let it hit you in the behind like a slamming door as you move on to the next quarter…
Before we descend into fall though, and break out the sweaters, let’s have one last hurrah for my favorite time of year. Tomatoes hang heavy on the vines, warmed by the late August sun. Peppers, too, dot the bushes like holiday ornaments, and arugula is still sprouting (perhaps bolting a bit!) in the warmth. The basil plants — may I just call them bushes and you’ll understand how enthusiastic they are in the garden? — have taken over, and jalapenos hang like green and red earrings from the branch.
How could I have forgotten to plant cucumbers this year? Good thing they are piled high at the farmers market. A quick trip there satisfies any need or craving I have for fresh fruits and vegetables that I haven’t grown myself.
Get ready to celebrate a memorable 3-day Labor Day weekend and put a ring on it. I have a classic recipe for you — Tuscan Panzanella Salad — a doozy that is perfect for all the vegetables you’ll find in your garden or at the market right now.
Say hello to Tuscan Panzanella Salad, if you haven’t shaken hands before. Featuring fresh tomatoes, basil, onions, peppers and whatever other vegetables you like (cukes?), it’s a substantial main-dish salad that you’ll add to your regular summer menu after you try it once.
One of the practicalities of it is stale bread (hurrah for using up leftovers!), added along with vinaigrette, to make it a meal in a bowl. Those Italians…they know what they’re doing.
Its charms are legendary.
It only takes a few ingredients, and you probably have most of them.
This has your name on it, so grab your salad bowl and get to it!
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This recipe was originally published Aug. 29, 2015 and has been refreshed and republished today.
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