Panzanella Salad is hands-down a must-try! It certainly is a statement salad that bursts so much flavor! The smallest amount of Dijon is used in the dressing, which delivers a little zing that balances out nicely with the seasoned pita croutons and steals the show!
The seasoning used on the pita crouton and dressing is my Greek Seasoning concoction that is so simple to put together. It is basil-based with some other common dried herbs that you may already have on hand. As long as dried basil is used, a variation of the Greek Seasoning recipe can be made. No need to overthink it.
Tips on how to make Panzanella Salad
Types of Lettuce
I like to make this salad with green leaf lettuce because I think it offers some nice crunch but also slightly buttery lettuce. Boston lettuce, red leaf, arugula, or romaine could be good contenders too.
Time needed: 5 minutes
How to Wash Lettuce
- Wash each leaf with care!
Use a big colander in the kitchen sink and carefully wash each leaf. Wash the lettuce carefully because the grocery store did not! Let’s be real about this for a second, lettuce is a plant that grows in the ground outside. If you are working with a fresh head of lettuce, it is probable that there is some soil, pesticides, or even bugs in between the leaves.
- Dry with care!
Then lay the leaves on top of a clean dish towel and cover the leaves with paper towels to soak up the water. A salad spinner can also be used to dry the lettuce also!
- Store properly in the refrigerator!
When storing the lettuce in the refrigerator, use an airtight container or a zip-lock bag with a folded paper towel inserted inside. The paper towel helps keep the lettuce crisp for several days! This is a technique that both my mother and grandmother taught me. Nothing is worse than going to the trouble of prepping the lettuce ahead of time only to find it soggy when ready to use!
Ripe Juicy Tomatoes!
Homegrown summer tomatoes would be a nice addition should you have them. I like to use Campari tomatoes when the homegrown are unavailable because they seem to be juicy and ripe 10 months of the year.
Panzanella is meant to be eaten once tossed with the dressing
It is not recommended to be made in advance. However, if you know that you will be short on time and looking for a shortcut. I would recommend cutting the veggies, washing the lettuce, shredding the Parmesan cheese, and assemble the dressing. Cover the dressing with plastic wrap and leave it out, do not refrigerate. These steps can be done hours ahead of time to help cut corners later.
Panzanella can also be made using crusty bread!
Simply follow the recipe using your favorite bread, such as focaccia, ciabatta or even a bagel would do the job. Use what you have on hand.
Add in Ideas
- Artichoke hearts
- Kalamata olives
- Fresh cut chives
- Freshly cut basil leaves
- White Kidney Beans
- Grilled shrimps, chicken, or scallops to make it a bit more substantial.
Panzanella Salad With Pita
- Salad bowl
- 2 Small Pitas or 1 large Pita
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Greek Seasoning Get the recipe at SimpleMealGirl.com
- 1 Head Green Leaf Lettuce, washed and trimmed
- 5 Campari Tomatoes
- ½ Cucumber
- ¼ Cup Red Onion sliced
- ½ Red or Green Pepper
- ½ Cup Parmesan Cheese freshly grated
- ¼ Cup Red Vinegar
- ⅓ Cup Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Capers
- 1 tablespoon Greek Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- Salt & Pepper to season
- Brush pita with oil on both sides, then sprinkle on the seasoning evenly. Toast until crisp in the toaster oven or in a pan on the stove.
- Wash lettuce and pat dry.
- Whisk together dressing and set aside.
- Cut tomatoes in wedges, slice peppers and onions and cut the cucumber into cubes.Shred the Parmesan cheese.
- Combine lettuce, veggies, and cheese in a salad bowl. Scrape any tomato juices leftover into the dressing and whisk.
- Cut toasted pita to crouton size
- Combine all ingredients and toss!