Summer tomato panzanella is the classic version, but why wait until mid-summer to enjoy a tomato bread salad? Instead make a lemony and fresh spring panzanella salad full of garden peas, arugula, and mint! You’ll love this inviting, green salad along with grilled or roasted meats or as part of a tasty vegetarian dinner.
I hope spring is treating you well!
I’ve been having All The Company lately. Or at least it feels like all the company since we don’t have people staying over too often and we’ve had first my in-laws and then my parents staying over in the past week.
It’s been good. A little tiring (though my house is particularly clean right now!), but a lot of fun. And I made SO MANY recipes from my blog here to feed everybody.
Now that everyone is gone again, I’m back to my usual schedule of recipe testing, photos, and posting awesome perfected recipes here. Like this salad! It’s the perfect spring salad and one you should totally make right now. 🙂
Spring Panzanella Salad
One of my favorite salads to make is tomato bread salad at mid-summer with local, juicy tomatoes and plenty of crusty bread and fruity olive oil. Add a glass of wine and some cheese and we have the perfect, easy summer meal!
I wanted to have all that amazing flavor but in a spring version. What do I love in the spring?
- Garden peas!
- Fresh arugula!
- The first cherry tomatoes!
- The first shoots of mint!
Put all of those together along with toasted bread (to add another layer of flavor!) and you have a spring panzanella salad full of fresh and bright spring flavors.
How do you make spring panzanella salad?
To make spring panzanella salad toast some thickly sliced crusty bread, then toss the bread with peas, arugula, mint and red onion in a lemon and olive oil dressing.
Panzanella is fairly simple dish to make, in the spring or any other time of the year, but I do have a few tips for you.
How long will panzanella keep?
A few hours!
While allowing panzanella to rest for a little while (15-30 minutes) is a great idea since it lets the bread soak up the dressing, panzanella is best eaten shortly after being made.
That said, you can prep the ingredients several hours before making the salad. Just don’t mix them together until dinner.
What goes with panzanella salad?
My spring panzanella is a substantial salad which brings both starch and veggies to the table. I find it’s best paired with a simple protein. Some ideas include:
If you try my recipe for Spring Panzanella Salad, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
For a fresh take on Italian bread salad, make a spring panzanella salad with peas, arugula, mint, and cherry tomatoes all tossed in a bright, lemony dressing.
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 8-10 oz crusty dinner bread, cut into ~1 inch slices
- olive oil and kosher salt, for the bread
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup peas, either fresh garden peas or thawed frozen peas
- 2 tbsp thinly sliced fresh mint
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 4 cups arugula
Mix together the dressing in a bowl.
Add the red onion to the dressing and let it sit until you are ready to mix the salad.
Brush the bread with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Toast the bread under a broiler or in a toaster oven until golden brown on both sides. (You can also grill the the bread.) Cool briefly and cut into cubes.
Add the bread cubes, tomatoes, peas, mint, and thyme to a large salad bowl.
Pour over the dressing and and toss ingredients together, making sure to coat the bread with the dressing.
Just before serving mix in the arugula.
- Make ahead: Panzanella is best eaten within 1-2 hours of preparation. You can make the dressing, prepare the salad ingredients, and toast the bread earlier in the day and then toss it together at dinner time.
- Trimming the bread: If your bread has gotten a bit hard or is particularly crusty, you may want to trim off those bits.
- Herbs: Since this is a spring panzanella I used common spring herbs which I see in my garden early in the season. Feel free to use parsley and/or basil in the salad if you have those on hand. Also, chives or spring onions are nice in addition to or in place of the red onion.