Strawberry and Cherry Tomato Panzanella— A berry twist on the delicious Tuscan dish. Filled with homemade croutons, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, red onions, pancetta, fresh basil, burrata, and drizzled with a white balsamic vinaigrette.
This Strawberry and Cherry Tomato Panzanella is THE summer salad you’ll want to make all season long! And with California strawberries in peak season, it’s the absolute best time to whip this up! You really can’t beat it. It’s a decadent dish that’s simple, rustic, and absolutely mouthwatering.
The beautiful berry-filled dish was created in partnership with California Strawberries. A little fun fact for you! When you snack on 8 strawberries a day, it provides a daily serving of vitamin C. 😉
What I love about this Panzanella is that you can serve it as an appetizer or as a side dish. I’d even say this would make a perfect dinner on a warm summer night. Which is actually my favourite way to enjoy it— On the patio served with a chilled glass of white wine. Any way you serve it, definitely make this one before the summer ends!
Authentic Panzanella vs. This Recipe
My recipe differs from truly authentic Panzanella. Traditionally, it is made up of stale bread soaked in water and wrung out. Then, it readily soaks up the tomato juice, olive oil and vinegar.
For this recipe, we’re making homemade croutons, which are essential! Cooks in the oven for about 15-20 minutes till golden brown. Once they’ve cooled, you’ll add them to the rest of the ingredients and dressing and set in the fridge or about an hour. The croutons will have soaked up the flavours of the dish.
Make-ahead & Storage Tips
- You can make the white balsamic vinaigrette up to 1 week ahead! Generally, vinaigrettes can be kept refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Dairy-based dressings, like buttermilk, and dressings made with fresh ingredients, like chopped onion, fresh herbs, tomato sauce and chopped hard-boiled egg, will keep up to 1 week. A good rule of thumb to follow is if they contain fresh ingredients, then the time is shortened according to that ingredient.
- Croutons can be made a day ahead. Store them at room temperature in an airtight container or Ziploc bag, for up to three days or in the freezer for several weeks. They also keep in the fridge for several days with only a small loss of crunchiness.
Strawberry and Cherry Tomato Panzanella Salad
Strawberry and Cherry Tomato Panzanella Salad— A berry twist on the Tuscan dish. The perfect summer salad!
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 55
- Yield: 6 1x
For the Salad
2 cups ciabatta or sourdough, cubed
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
½ cup pancetta, cooked and diced (optional)
1 pint strawberries, hulled and halved/quartered
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
½ large red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
8 oz burrata, torn (or fresh mozzarella)
For the Dressing
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp dijon
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
In a small jar, add dressing ingredients and mix until well combined. Season with sea salt and pepper, and set aside.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350ºF. Place cubed bread on the sheet and drizzle olive oil on both sides and sprinkle sea salt. If adding pancetta, place on a small section of the baking sheet. Bake about 15 minutes until golden and toasted, turning halfway through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, gently toss strawberries, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and half the basil leaves. Add in the croutons and about ¾ of the dressing and toss till well combined. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour.
Just before serving, top with burrata, drizzle remaining dressing and top with remaining basil leaves.
This post is in sponsorship with California Strawberries. All opinions expressed and flavour combinations are my own. 😉
Please let me know how your Panzanella turns out in the comments! I can’t wait to hear from you.
Looking for no-cook recipes perfect for hot summer days? Check out my Spicy Loaded Jalapeno Corn Hummus.