This Paleo Panzanella Salad is the perfect side dish for summer!
I have about 10 salad recipes coming your way in the coming weeks…something about summer just screams salads to me and this one is definitely a favorite. Panzanella is a classic Italian bread salad that’s brimming with fresh bright vegetables and tons of basil. Lucky for me I have a basil plant that’s almost as big as my house right now. I can’t use it fast enough! I guess that’s just another reason to make this salad again in the next few days!
After the tomatoes and basil the ingredients differ between everyone you ask. I like mine with cucumbers, onion, and tons of California Black Ripe Olives. (OK… am I the only one who read that last bit and immediately thought of the Jimmy Buffett song Cheeseburger in Paradise??) They’re meaty and absolutely delicious. My house is always stocked with a variety of olives. Olives are loved for their unique flavor, texture and color, but also can be part of a healthy diet! In our day-to-day eating we tend to lean towards a blend of the Paleo and Mediterranean Diets. Think tons of fresh fish, healthy fats, vegetables, and a little fruit. By now you probably know that fat doesn’t equal weight gain. Olives are a great source of fat and when paired with the olive oil in this salad it can’t be beat. Plus black olives contain vitamin E, iron, vitamin A, and fiber. What’s not to love?
I recommend making the bread the day before so it has time to dry out a bit. Cut it into cubes and just let it sit out for a day to become slightly stale. Or if you’re like me and don’t plan very well you can always bake the bread, cut into cubes, and then toast a second time. Works like a charm.
My favorite part of Panzanella is how the bread soaks up the vinaigrette and tomato juices. It’s absolutely divine. You’ll also want to let it sit and marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving or up to an hour or two. This makes this a great side dish to take to a BBQ since you can pack it up and not worry about it! Plus if you have Paleo friends and family, or just gluten-free even, I promise they’ll absolutely flip for this! There’s no sacrifice here, this bread has the same exact taste and texture as normal bread. It’s a win-win.
Paleo Panzanella Salad
Please ensure Safari reader mode is OFF to view ingredients.
Ingredients for the Bread (Makes 2 loaves)
- 2 cups blanched almond flour
- 2 cups tapioca flour
- 8 large eggs
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons paleo baking powder (you can make your own paleo version)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
Ingredients for the Salad
- 2 lbs heirloom tomatoes (chopped into wedges)
- 1 can California Black Ripe Olives
- 1 medium cucumber (thinly sliced)
- 1 medium Red onion (thinly sliced)
- 1 medium red bell pepper (julienned)
- 1 cup Fresh basil (packed, torn)
Ingredients for the Vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Sea salt (to taste)
- Black pepper
More TIPS about this paleo recipe in the post above!
- Make the Bread: Preheat oven to 400° and line two loaf pans with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cube and let bread sit for 1 day or return to the oven on 300° for 20 minutes.
- Prep the vegetables: Quarter the tomatoes into wedges if they're still too large quarter again. Place in a very large bowl along with their juices. Thinly slice the red onion and place in a small bowl covered with cold water. Let them sit for 10 minutes to remove their bite. Drain and add to the bowl with tomatoes. Add in the thinly slice cucumber, California Ripe Black Olives, and the red bell pepper. Sprinkle vegetables with salt.
- Make the Vinaigrette: Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Assemble the Salad: Toss the bread into the bowl with the vegetables. Give it a good toss to distribute the juices. Pour dressing over salad and toss well. Let sit at least 30 minutes. Just before serving sprinkle with the fresh basil.