Panzanella–Italian Bread Salad

As you can tell from the last blog post and this one, I’m really excited about the Le Veneziane gluten-free corn pasta that Freedom Delivered is now offering.  My whole family loves an Italian dinner, and now we can have them often!  As a gluten-free baker, I often bake breads once or twice a week.  This provides us with the necessary gluten-free breads and a wholesome variety also.  Then, occasionally, I have some breads that aren’t going to be eaten right away, and I don’t want to waste them.  Often I freeze them, but I also have several good recipes to use them in later.

Panzanella, an Italian bread salad, is a great recipe to use up day-old gluten-free baguettes.  Also, it is a recipe that needs to sit for at least a half an hour to allow the flavors to blend, and it can sit at room temperature for up to a couple of hours.  This is such a help if you are busy or serving buffet style.  To begin, I will give you the link to the baguette bread recipe–

Panzanella--Italian Bread Salad
  • 4 large vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into large wedges
  • 1 day old gluten-free baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onions (soak the onions in cold water for about 30 minutes--takes away the sharpness)
  • ½ orange or yellow bell pepper, in 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup Italian extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch basil leaves, washed, dried and sliced into ribbons
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. In a large bowl, combine the tomato wedges, bread cubes, pepper and the onion slices (drained and dried).
  2. In a small bowl or a jar, mix together the garlic, vinegar and oil. Pour most of the the oil dressing over the bread salad and gently toss to coat all the bread. Let the salad stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  3. To serve, adjust the dressing. Add the basil, salt & pepper to taste, and toss to combine. Serve. Makes 6-7 cups of salad.