Traditionally, a panzanella salad is a Tuscan bread and tomato salad. You would normally use stale bread that softens without becoming mushy from the dressing and the juice of the tomatoes. When I was in NYC I had a “panzanella” salad with watermelon and kale which gave me the idea for this end of summer salad. I know what you are thinking – “I thought she only ate ice cream when she was in NYC”!
The bread should be the heart of a panzanella salad. I went with my favorite, sourdough. Since I used a fresh loaf, I threw it on the grill with some olive oil to crisp it up while I grilled the watermelon. To grill your bread and watermelon, heat the grill to 300 degrees, place bread and watermelon in an even layer on the grill. Close the grill and let the temperature rise to 300 degrees again. Flip bread and watermelon, close grill and let the temperature rise back to 300 once more. Let the bread and watermelon cool before tossing together the salad.
For the dressing I whisked together olive oil, lime juice, honey, apple cider vinegar, sea salt and pepper. As opposed to most salads lettuce is often left out of a panzanella, but in this one I added some baby kale.
Then I added in the good stuff! Feta, red onions, pistachios and fresh chopped mint! The mint really adds a lot of flavor and pairs nicely with the watermelon. The pistachios gives it a nutty flavor and an extra crunch. Feta is a good cheese choice because it does not get too mushy and again goes well with watermelon.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbs. lime juice
- 2 tbs. honey
- 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
- sea salt
- 2 cups watermelon, large chopped
- 4 cups sourdough bread, large chopped
- 4 tbs olive oil
- sea salt
- 2 cups baby kale
- 1 cup red onions, small chopped
- 1/2 cup salted pistachios
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, small chopped
- In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, lime juice, honey, apple cider vinegar
- Season with sea salt and pepper
- Set aside
- Heat grill to 300 degrees
- Toss bread and watermelon with olive oil, sea salt and pepper
- Spread bread and watermelon on grill, close grill and let temperature rise back to 300 degrees
- Flip bread and watermelon, close grill and let temperature rise back to 300 degrees again
- Remove grilled bread and watermelon, let cool
- Once cool, put bread and watermelon in a large salad bowl
- Add baby kale, toss
- Add red onions, pistachios, feta and mint, toss
- Pour dressing over salad, toss
- Let salad rest at least 10-15 minutes before serving
With summer weather seemingly back in full force this would make a nice, cool summer dinner. Walter and I enjoyed it topped with grilled chicken, but it is hearty enough to be enjoyed on it’s own as well!
Have a great weekend!