I often swoon over the heirloom tomatoes at the farmers market and in the supermarket. Somehow I come home with six to seven plump heirlooms in greens, golds, and rich reds. The peaches and nectarines were perfectly sweet, and I knew this was the last of the summer tomatoes and stone fruits. So I made a simple Italian classic— panzanella!
Bread is the lovely companion of the tomato in this dish. Thankfully, I am not gluten-sensitive and can eat all the bread I desire. I picked up a loaf of olive rosemary sourdough a week before, which toasted up into delicious croutons for this recipe.
I love how the Italians created a “salad” out of tomatoes, onions, and croutons. They took French “croutons” and made good use of them. Also, equally as luscious as the tomatoes are the stone fruits of this time of year— peaches and nectarines so juicy and at their absolute finest for this salad. I used shallots in place of onion as I’m not quite a fan of the taste of raw onions and prefer shallots, they are more elegant besides, and less sharp in flavor. I also love the hit of salty kalamatas mingled with balsamic and juicy sweet nectarines all together as well.
I’ve been making more Instagram reels lately and created a fun little panzanella video. It’s not a full recipe video, but it gives you the idea of how all of these wonderful flavors can create a salad that celebrates all of summer’s late harvest.
PANZANELLA TOMATO SALAD
5-6 colorful heirloom tomatoes, chopped in quarters
1/3 cup of fresh basil, chopped
1-2 handfuls arugula
1 shallot, sliced with a mandolin
2 peaches or nectarines, cut into wedges
1/2 loaf bread, cubed and toasted (make croutons)
olive oil, generous amounts
flake sea salt
kalamata olives, pitted (optional)
fresh cracked pepper, to taste
Heat oven to 350F. Add cubes of bread to sheet pan and generously drizzle olive oil all over. Toast until golden, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
Combine chopped tomatoes and stone fruits (peaches and/or nectarines) in a bowl, drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar all over and add a pinch of sea salt. Toss.
Add toasted bread croutons and toss again.
Add basil, arugula, shallots, kalamata olives, and cracked pepper, to taste.