Tomato, Parmesan and Bread Salad (Panzanella Salad) Recipe

Panzanella salad - umami rich and glutamate rich

Panzanella salad - umami rich and glutamate rich

This umami-rich seasonal salad is a tasty favorite on a hot summer or fall day when cooking is not an option.  The richness of the flavors of the ripe tomatoes, shaved parmesan and basil make for a unique flavor combination.

Panzanella Salad

aka Tomato, Parmesan and Bread Salad

Course Salad
Cuisine Italian


  • 1-1/4 pound large ripe red tomatoes
  • sea salt optional
  • 5 ounces Italian bread
  • 1/3 cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 6-7 basil leaves plus extra for garnish chopped
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese not grated, shaved slices
  • fresh black pepper


  1. Roughly chop the tomatoes into 3/4-inch pieces and put them in a non-metallic bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt (if desired) and allow them to sit for an hour.
  2. Tear the bread into rough bite-size chunks.
  3. Squash the tomatoes with your hands, discard liquid and then toss with bread, onion, basil, vinegar and olive oil. Season with pepper and salt (if desired) to taste. Garnish top with extra basil leaves.
  4. Serve with generous portion of parmesan cheese shavings over top. Best served immediately.

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About Kaye Taylor, MS

Kaye is an author and consulting nutritionist with more than 15 years’ experience representing clients in the food industry, providing strategic leadership and consulting on meal planning, recipe development, consumer-focused educational materials relating to food and nutrition, science-based communications, and media relations. Read more about her background on the About page.

One Comment

  • Katik says:

    Thank you Dish! Thinking about it this would be great on the menu at our hospital cafeteria ~ it works really well on a buffet table, so why not? Sounds like they are offering up some imaginative food!

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