I’d been meaning to make this Panzanella recipe for quite some time so when we had a beautiful Sunday for grilling, I jumped at the chance.
This is easily going to be my go-to summer salad recipe. It has everything we love – grilled onions and red peppers, mozzarella and even grilled, crusty bread (which is amazing on its own!). As I said, I made this Panzanella for dinner Sunday night, and I’m glad this doesn’t make a ton because Trevor and I ate pretty much all of it (sigh). We had this alongside a piece of venison, but I was telling Trevor that I think it would go even better with a marinated grilled chicken too.
I love the Italian flavors of the balsamic vinegar and basil, mixed with the slight char from the peppers, onions and bread. If you don’t have a grill or are pressed for time, you can put all the grilling ingredients under the broiler too, but you won’t get the smokiness like you do on a grill (we used charcoal for this).
I originally started with this recipe from Smitten Kitchen for inspiration, but put my own spin on it. We aren’t a fan of capers and I made a few other variations (choices of vinegar and herbs and ditching the extra sugar).
Read on for the recipe!
- Slices of fresh Italian bread, four cut about 3/4 inch thick
- 2 red peppers, halved and seeded
- 1 red onion, cut into larger wedges (make sure they're big enough to be grilled!)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 oz. mozzarella pearls (that's half a package usually)
- Fresh basil, chopped into ribbons
- Heat your grill to medium (Trevor did this part - getting the coals ready)
- Toss the peppers, onions and bread in the oil, salt and pepper. Grill the onions and peppers first and get a good char (especially on the peppers). Make sure they're well-softened during the grilling then set aside.
- Grill the bread until its done how you want it. I left ours on to get pretty toasty.
- Once you're done with the grill, peel the red peppers and cut them into easily-forkable pieces and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the vinegar, garlic, olive oil and some salt and pepper. Add the grilled red peppers and allow them to marinate in the vinegar.
- About five minutes before you want to eat, add in the onions and bread (I cut both of these into smaller pieces once they'd cooled), mozzarella cheese and the chopped basil.
- Stir together and enjoy!