Ripe summer tomatoes, cucumber, and basil shine in this Tuscan panzanella salad recipe. Italian tomato and bread salad is a great way to use up stale bread. 

A close-up photograph of panzanella salad. This Italian tomato and bread salad has cucumbers capers, basil, and onions. A beautiful summer salad.

There are many things I love about Tuscan food and cooking. Simple, high quality ingredients are the star, and there is very little waste. Panzanella is a perfect example. Tuscan bread is typically quite flavorless and dry, and after the first day, many people would simply toss it out, but in recipes like traditional tomato bruschetta, ribollita, pappa al pomodoro, and panzanella, it can be brought back to life. 

I started working on this recipe a year ago in Tuscany, and am happy to finally be sharing it. Let’s take a look at how panzanella is traditionally made in Tuscany, and how I like to make it at home.