Jacked Up Panzanella Salad

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of  The Desk and The Stove

In honor of the past Olympics, I thought I’d take a classic Italian summer salad and jack it up on steroids…no really, I’m suuure the Chinese swimmer is legit! Don’t try to kid yourself by eating nachos while claiming that the diet will start tomorrow…(Guilty!) Munch on this jacked up panzanella salad instead; it’s a surefire way to hit gold.


1 baguette sourdough bread, cut into chunks
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tbl drained capers
2 tsp lemon zest
4 small radicchio, thinly sliced
2 red onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, made into a paste with salt
5-8 assorted ripe heirloom tomatoes, deseeded and cut into chunks, plus 1 red tomato on the vine per serving
1 cucumber, deseeded and chopped into chunks the same size as the tomatoes
½ cup black olives, de-pitted
1 large bunch of basil, chiffonade
shaved parmesan (optional)
olive oil
salt and pepper


1-    Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  In a small bowl, mix together the bread chunks with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread the pieces on a baking sheet and bake until slightly crispy (7-10 min).

2-    In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, capers, lemon zest and garlic paste.  Add in olive oil in a steady stream whilst whisking to form  a vinaigrette. Add the radicchio, onion, heirloom tomatoes, cucumber and black olives to the vinaigrette and mix to coat. Adjust seasonings.

3-    Cut the tomatoes on the vine into halves of quarters, season with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven until just cooked (about 5 min).

4-    Add in the crunchy bread and basil and plate with the oven-roasted tomatoes.  Jacked-up goodness.


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