Stone Fruit, Tomato, and Corn Panzanella

panzanella in a glass bowl and a smaller serving in a blue bowl

Just the thought of this Stone Fruit, Tomato, and Corn Panzanella makes me smile. It reminds me of eating outside while it’s still light out, cold rosé in a foggy glass, after-dinner walks during golden hour. It’s mid-August, and it’s time to soak up every last ray of warm sun that we can—and that includes what’s on our plates. Packed with juicy, fresh produce and crispy cubes of bread tossed in a punchy vinaigrette, this is the ultimate salad to celebrate summer. 

For the best flavor, use local, in-season crops. You’ve probably heard that advice before, but it’s worth mentioning again (hear me out!). A tomato shipped from another country is just no match for a ripe, taut, cherry-red tomato grown down the street. And no, you don’t have to live near rolling hills of farmland to find farms (ahem—I live in Queens). If you’re not sure where to find a farmers market or CSA near you, search for one on localharvest.org

What is panzanella?

Panzanella is a bread salad popular in Tuscany and throughout the Mediterranean. Traditionally made with dried bread, vegetables, olive oil, and sometimes a splash of vinegar, it was born as a way to use up stale carbs. Centuries later, it’s still a genius solution for that loaf of ciabatta you don’t want to trash, but it also works with fresh slices dried out in the oven. Sweet, juicy tomatoes shine here because they rehydrate the bread, but any vegetable will do. Try it with cucumbers or cubed melon, add cheese or bits of salty meat, pack it with fresh herbs. Nix the meat and cheese to make it vegan or keep it simple and serve it as a side dish with a protein.

Panzanella can be a catchall for everything you’re trying to use up in the fridge or a stunning vegetarian main dish you made lovinging from scratch. Really, it’s more of a verb, an action for throwing together a colorful combination of produce and bread as one last homage to the summer. Let’s panzanella, shall we?

What to serve with panzanella:

Let’s make Stone Fruit, Tomato, and Corn Panzanella

Heat the oven to 400F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the bread pieces with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.

baked croutons on a sheet pan

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown and just crisp on the outside but slightly chewy on the inside. Set aside.

panzanella in a glass bowl

Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes, stone fruit, corn, red onion, pistachios, feta, and herbs in a large bowl. Stir in the red wine vinegar; season with salt and pepper to taste. 

panzanella in a glass bowl

Stir in the croutons, then add enough olive oil to moisten, about 3 tablespoons. Taste and add more salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, or olive oil as needed.

Stone Fruit, Tomato, and Corn Panzanella

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Dinner, Side Dish American, Italian
By Samantha Serves: 4
Prep Time: 45 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 1 hour

Packed with juicy, fresh produce and crispy cubes of bread tossed in a punchy vinaigrette, this is the ultimate salad to celebrate summer.

Ingredients

  • 2 thick slices bread, torn into large bite-sized pieces (about 3 cups)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb tomatoes (about 2 medium tomatoes- use a variety if you can), chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 3/4 lb stone fruit (about 3 medium fruits, use a combo of nectarines, peaches, or plums if you have them), chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 ears of corn, husked, kernels removed from the cob (about 3 cups)
  • ¼ of a red onion, thinly sliced (about ½ cup)
  • ½ cup roasted, shelled pistachios
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup fresh herb leaves and tender stems, such as mint, basil, parsley, or a combination, roughly chopped or torn
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, plus more to taste

Instructions

1

Heat the oven to 400F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the bread pieces with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown and just crisp on the outside but slightly chewy on the inside. Set aside.

2

Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes, stone fruit, corn, red onion, pistachios, feta, and herbs in a large bowl. Stir in the red wine vinegar; season with salt and pepper to taste.

3

Stir in the croutons, then add enough olive oil to moisten, about 3 tablespoons. Taste and add more salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, or olive oil as needed.

Notes

The flavor of this salad just gets better as it sits. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving for the best flavor. To make up to one day ahead, add all ingredients except nuts, cheese, bread, vinegar, and olive oil to the bowl. Stir in these ingredients before serving.

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