Late Summer Panzanella Salad with Corn, Tomatoes, + Herbs

Enjoy the best of late Summer produce in this simple Panzanella Salad with Corn, Tomatoes, + Herbs. Panzanella salad originated in Tuscany as a way to use up the last scraps of stale bread,  and it is typically tossed with tomatoes and dressed with oil and vinegar. My take here is all about balancing the crunchy, olive oil-y croutons with fresh juicy corn, ripe tomatoes, and tons of fresh herbs. Fresh basil and fresh mint are the move for added brightness. Check out the Riffs section at the bottom of the recipe for ways to sub, swap, and make this dish your own. Spoiler alert - ripe summer peaches, fresh mozzarella, and toasted pistachios would all be delicious additions.

Late Summer Panzanella Salad with Corn, Tomatoes, + Herbs

Enjoy the best of late Summer produce in this simple Panzanella Salad with Corn, Tomatoes, + Herbs. Crisp up croutons in the oven, and while they bake, prep the rest of the dish. Toss all together while croutons are warm.

Prep:
15
min
cook:
20
min
total:
35
min
Ingredients
  • 8 oz rustic bread, cubed (about 1/2 standard size country loaf)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus 1/3 cup, divided
  • kosher salt
  • cracked black pepper
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 3 ears corn, husked
  • 1 lb ripe summer tomatoes, preferably cherry tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 *large* handfuls fresh basil, chopped, plus more for serving
  • 1 1/2 *large* handfulls fresh mint, chopped, plus more for serving
  • optional but recommended: 1-2 ripe summer peaches, cut into bite sized pieces
  • crumbled feta, crushed red chili flakes, and flaky salt for serving
Instructions

Make croutons:

  1. Preheat oven to 400* F. On sheet tray, toss cubed up bread with extra virgin olive oil. Season generously with kosher salt and few pinches of freshly cracked black pepper and toss to combine. When oven is preheated, bake croutons about 20 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on the outside, being sure to toss halfway through.

Prep rest of salad:

  1. While croutons bake, assemble rest of salad. To large serving bowl, add sliced shallots and champagne vinegar. Season generously with kosher salt and let sit for about 5 minutes while you prep the corn and tomatoes, this step will soften the shallots and essentially quick-pickle them. Slice kernels off corn and add to serving bowl. Slice tomatoes into bite-size pieces and add to serving bowl. Add peach if using.

Finish salad:

  1. When croutons are done baking, add to serving bowl and toss while warm. Fold in remaining 1/3 of olive oil and herbs. Taste and adjust to your liking - this part is up to you! The dish should be *very* herby and bright, if you need more herbs, fold in more chopped herbs, especially more mint. Add more olive oil to loosen up if needed. Season with kosher salt if it's tasting bland. Top with crumbled feta, chili flakes, and flaky salt.
Let's riff
  • The Shallots: Any allium is a great swap, like grated garlic, or thinly sliced green onions or red onions.
  • The Champagne Vinegar:  I love the delicate flavor of champagne vinegar here. Sub in lemon juice, lime juice, or red wine vinegar.
  • The Corn: I keep the corn raw - at the end of Summer it's so juicy, sweet, and flavorful. Grilled corn is also delicious here.
  • The Tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes will hold their shape best in this salad, but use whatever ripe, in-season tomatoes you can find.
  • The Herbs: Basil and mint are fabulous together, and you can use all basil or all mint. Any combination of soft, tender herbs will work here, i.e. chives, cilantro, or parsley.
  • The Feta: Adds a welcome funky brininess. Omit it to keep this vegan and vegetarian. Sub in fresh mozzarella pieces or crumbled goat cheese.
  • The Extra Fixins: I finish this dish with flaky salt for added texture, and crushed red chili flakes or Marash Turkish chiles for a little heat. Add in crisped up and crumbled bacon for an extra oomph of savory flavor, toasted pistachios for added texture, or even sweet summer stone fruit cut up into bite-sized pieces for a fun twist.

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Hilario Druitt
April 17, 2024
Tilly Killough
April 16, 2024
Jeannine Turner
April 13, 2024
Alvin Goold
April 7, 2024
Dean Baader
April 6, 2024
Frank Hardie
April 5, 2024
Elvira
April 4, 2024
Aleisha Lee
March 31, 2024
Noreen Stretch
March 28, 2024
Sherman Cruz
March 25, 2024
Ludie Key
March 23, 2024
Gini
March 20, 2024
Loved the soup. Croutons too much trouble. Fast in a cup!
Ray Beall
March 16, 2024
Richard
February 22, 2024
send me fruits to add with another fruit to cure disease
Deneen Medland
April 17, 2023
Kelle Trouton
April 17, 2023
Caroline
January 23, 2023
I made this same amazing salad with the following additions: I used a bed of chopped romaine hearts, and squeezed the juice of all the trimmed cara cara oranges, plus 1/2 lemon, added a drizzled of Tupelo honey on top. The herbs: chopped fennel fronds and mint. Everyone went crazy for it!
Marcus
YUM! Definitely going to pair this with a nice and funky natty white next time!
Caroline
January 23, 2023
I made this same amazing salad with the following additions: I used a bed of chopped romaine hearts, and squeezed the juice of all the trimmed cara cara oranges, plus 1/2 lemon, added a drizzled of Tupelo honey on top. The herbs: chopped fennel fronds and mint. Everyone went crazy for it!