This fresh, delicious Panzanella Salad has everything going on! Gorgeous colors. Fresh flavors. All the best summer corn, tomatoes, sweet peppers, avocados and of course, lots of crusty bread.
Hey friends, it's summertime (and unfortunately 110 degrees this week in Phoenix). That means the oven is off, the grill is on, and the farmers markets are in full swing.
Corn-on-the-cob comes early here, so our season has been in full swing for a few weeks already. I couldn't pass up the chance to use it in one of my new favorite recipes - Grilled Corn and Tomato Panzanella Salad.
I actually shared a variation of this salad at a cooking demo I recently did for Avocados from Mexico and Albertsons/Safeway supermarkets. We did a "tomato avocado and pepper panzanella salad on a stick" recipe that was such a hit with everyone. I had to take it home and put my twist on it.
In case you're not familiar with Panzanella salad, it's a Tuscan salad with tomatoes and dried (AKA stale) bread that's soaked in a flavorful vinaigrette dressing. It couldn't be an easier salad to make, and this version is a perfect way to celebrate all the colors and flavors you can find at the farmers market.
I wanted a dinner version of this panzanella salad but kept it simple and vegetarian by adding just a bit of fresh mozzarella for protein. I think it would be fabulous with grilled shrimp, salmon, or chicken too.
The beauty of a panzanella salad is that there really are no rules. The fact that it's based around stale bread pretty much says it all - any vegetables (or even fruits) you have on hand are fair game. My rule is, if the colors go together, it will taste great.
If you have a favorite bottled vinaigrette on hand, use it. If not, mix up some balsamic vinegar with olive oil and a spoonful of dijon mustard you're good to go!
This is seriously our new favorite salad/meal/side dish for summer. Make it for your next cookout and let me know how it goes!
Grilled Corn and Tomato Panzanella Salad
- 2 ears corn on the cob, peeled and shucked
- 4 slices stale bread (or 8 small appetizer size slices)
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 large sweet pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium avocado, pitted and cut into cubes
- 4 ounces mini mozzarella balls (ciliegine)
- ½ cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
- ⅓ cup Olive oil Balsamic dressing
- Heat your grill to medium-high heat (about 350 degrees) and lightly spray the cooking grates with cooking spray.
- Grill the corn for about 10 minutes or until it is lightly charred all around.
- Grill the bread for about 30-45 seconds on each side until it has grill marks.
- Let the corn sit until it's cool enough to handle and cut off the cob. Slice the kernels and place them in a large mixing bowl.
- Cut the bread into chunks and add it to the bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl, and toss lightly to combine with dressing.
- Let the salad sit for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator, so the bread can soften and the flavors can blend.
How much do you love summer corn and tomatoes? Have you tried my other Grilled corn salad with freekeh and chiles?