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Summer Tomato and Burrata Panzanella Salad in a white ceramic serving bowl

Summer Tomato and Burrata Panzanella Salad

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Summer Tomato and Burrata Panzanella Salad is the perfect way to showcase juicy, ripe garden tomatoes! Fresh produce, creamy burrata cheese filled with cream and garlicky toasted bread cubes combine in a most delicious way!

Today, I’m cooking from Susan Pridmore’s newly released cookbook, Simply Vegetarian Cookbook: Fuss-Free Recipes Everyone Will Love. If this recipe is any indication, everyone will love these easy recipes!

Summer Tomato and Burrata Panzanella Salad in a white serving bowl with a basil garnish

Summer Tomato and Burrata Panzanella Salad

Susan, blogger at The Wimpy Vegetarian, has been a friend for years. If I was to be a vegetarian, I’d be a wimpy vegetarian, too, so I’ve always been a fan of her blog’s philosophy. Susan shares recipes with easy to find ingredients and simple instructions which are adaptable for vegans and meat eaters as well.

As a lover of fresh summer tomatoes, especially with basil and fresh mozzarella, this panzanella recipe caught my eye. Besides the burrata, chickpeas provide additional protein, so this salad makes a perfect lunch or light dinner. The picky hubby ate around the chick peas, but you can easily substitute cannellini bean or even black beans. The aroma of the bread tossed in garlic and olive oil certainly caught his attention as it was toasting in the oven. So much deliciousness going on in this seasonal salad.

More Recipes from the Simply Vegetarian Cookbook

There were SO many easy, beautiful, tasty sounding recipes I wanted to make. Susan’s Lemony Romaine and Avocado Salad would be marvelous on a holiday table with the pop of red from pomegranate arils. Greek Pita Pockets are exactly the kind of dish I love for lunch. And when fall weather arrives, her Spinach and Lentil Soup will be on our menu. Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, you’ll find plenty of amazing inspiration in this cookbook.

Summer Tomato and Burrata Panzanella Salad

What is a Panzanella Salad?

Panzanella is a Tuscan salad composed of fresh tomatoes and stale bread. Also called panmolle, the bread is soaked in a simple vinaigrette of vinegar and olive oil and often includes onions and basil. This version contains chickpeas AKA garbanzo beans and burrata, a variation on fresh mozzarella.

What is Buratta?

I remember my first taste of fresh mozzarella. I was in Aspen with my family, parents and my youngest sister over 20 years ago. She toasted baguette slices, rubbed them with a fresh clove of garlic and topped them with fresh tomatoes, basil and buffalo mozzarella. We were all instant fans.

Years later, I started hearing about buratta, found in the refrigerator case right next to the fresh mozzarella. Impossible to slice,  as the shell is made out of mozzarella and inside is a mixture of cream and stringy curd, known as stracciatella (not to be confused with the Italian gelato flavor which is vanilla filled with chocolate strings or flakes). In the photo about your see the knotted end of the burrata as the base of the salad is torn pieces of this delicious, unusual cheese. Feel free to use fresh mozzarella slices if burrata is unavailable in your area.

A Summer Tomato and Burrata Panzanella Salad is the perfect way to showcase juicy, ripe garden tomatoes! Fresh produce, creamy mozzarella cheese filled with cream and garlicky toasted bread cubes combine in a most delicious way!

Tips for Making a Panzanella Salad:

This simple, rustic Italian salad is a pretty basic recipe. But there are a few tricks when it comes to making a terrific bread salad.

  • Use a sturdy, crusty bread, otherwise it will turn to mush when mixed with the vinaigrette and tomato juices. I used ciabatta, but sour dough would also work well.
  • If you don’t have time to let your bread cubes get stale (the classic way to make panzanella), toast the bread in the oven like in Susan’s recipe. Plus you can then toss the cubes with olive oil and garlic for a boost of flavor.
  • Use juicy, ripe homegrown or heirloom tomatoes. A variety of colors makes for a beautiful presentation.
  • Use a sweet yellow onion instead of a sharp white onion. Red onions are nice, too, and I like to soak them in cold water to lessen the bite.
  • There are numerous other ingredients you can add to the mix like bell peppers, cucumbers, even capers.
  • To thinly slice basil, stack a few leaves, then roll them up like a cigar. Using a sharp knife, cut thin slices perpendicular to the roll. This process is called chiffonade.
  • Let the salad sit for at least 2 hours before serving so the flavors meld and the dressing and juices have a chance to soak into the bread.Simply Vegetarian Cookbook cover

More Tomato Salads You’ll Love

One of my favorite summer salads is this Tomato Basil Pasta Salad, which is perfect for picnics and potlucks. And this Salade de Tomates et Fromage is the French twist on the classic Caprese salad. A Middle Eastern Tomato Salad from Kalyn’s Kitchen intrigued me with a delicous mixture of tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs and a lemon dressing as did this Grilled Corn Avocado Tomato Salad from Oh, Sweet Basil and this Chimichurri Tomato Salad from A Spicy Perspective.

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Summer Tomato and Burrata Panzanella Salad in a white ceramic serving bowl

Summer Tomato and Burrata Panzanella Salad

A beautiful panzanella salad with chick peas and burrata cheese

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 servings
  • Category: Salad, Side Dish
  • Method: Baking, Mixing
  • Cuisine: Italian

Ingredients

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/8 teaspoon

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

4 cups chopped tomatoes

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

3 (1-inch-thick) slices crusty bread, such as ciabatta

1 teaspoon garlic paste or minced garlic

2 balls burrata mozzarella cheese, torn into 4-6 pieces

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400º. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, onion, and basil, and toss to evenly coat. Set aside.

Tear or cut the bread into large pieces about 2 inches across. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a large bowl and stir in the garlic. Toss the bread with the garlic and olive oil and arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet. Season the bread with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the bread pieces over and bake for another 5 minutes.

To serve, place the pieces of burrata on a serving plate. Toss the toasted bread with the tomato salad and pour everything over the burrata, including any residual dressing.

Notes

Recipe courtesy of Susan Pridmore.

Summer Tomato and Burrata Panzanella Salad - the best of summer in every bite! #summersalad #panzanella #tomatosalad #Italiansalad
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20 comments on “Summer Tomato and Burrata Panzanella Salad”

  1. Now that is a GORGEOUS salad! I can’t wait to try this as I love panzanella. Plus I miss bread 🙂

  2. I love bread salad! This looks very appetizing and tasty.

  3. Very seasonal indeed! This really looks good Liz:@)

  4. Lizzy I love this salad looks really wonderful and delicious !!!

  5. I print this dear !

  6. Summer in a bowl! This is such a flavorful and gorgeous salad!

  7. This is a wonderful looking salad. A great way to use fresh tomatoes from the garden.

  8. So seasonally perfect! I want a bowl of this to eat out on my deck on a sunny afternoon.

  9. Ohhh…Susan’s cookbook is wonderful!! This recipe in particular is so delicious. I love panzanella and burrata is one of my favorite cheeses. Perfect filling summer salad!

  10. Liz, that’s a great looking salad! I haven’t made it in a long time and will have to soon after seeing your recipe. Thanks!

  11. Simple, classic, satisfying — such a terrific recipe. Easy, too! This looks wonderful– great way to highlight summer flavors. Thanks!

  12. We made this yesterday Lizzy and we loved!

  13. Oh yum! Susan surely knows how to bring sunshine to summer plate and this salad sounds so refreshing and tasty.

  14. Tomatoes are the one fruit that really makes summer feel like summer! The gorgeous flavour of a tomato, particularly one that was left in the sun would make this salad irresistible. And the burrata. I recall reading about this amazingly delicious cheese right here on your blog. I was going to NYC and I knew I would need to try it and I did. It has been adding delicious pounds to my hips ever since.
    I love panzanella salad and I know I would love this. Perfect timing for summer tomatoes.

  15. You’re pics are always so gorgeous! Love all the wonderful colors in this salad and tips were great too.

  16. You’ve combined a few of my very favorite things in to one beautiful meal: panzanella, peak summer tomatoes and burrata, oh how I love burrata. This salad is going on our menu immediately!

  17. Thank you so much for your lovely post about my cookbook and this recipe! I love love love your delicious photos!!

  18. Esperanza bought garbanzos (chickpeas) because “we have to do this again mom” lol

  19. I love panzanella, and yours is beautiful. but that is not enough burrata for me!!!

  20. This is the ultimate summer salad!! The fresh tomatoes make it extra tasty!

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