Pinterest Instagram RSS Feed

Panzanella Salad with Kalamata Olives, Garbanzo Beans, and Basil


October 6, 2010

Panzanella Salad

Panzanella Salad

A dear friend, and fellow blogger, recently described her great accomplishments of the past month as:

  • “I did not cry in the past four days even though sometimes I was really drunk.”
  • “I went to the beach everyday in August and did not get burned.”
  • “Yesterday, at the grocery store there were free samples of cake and I did not eat one.”

Because of how my life has been going, I’ve been measuring my triumphs in a similar scale. Take today for instance:

  • Upon waking, my hair only moderately resembled a rogue bonsai.
  • I did not once sign one of the 200 work emails I fast and furiously sent out with ‘xoxo’. (this is a deep seeded fear of mine, even though it has only happened once).
  • I successfully managed to wear one of those chunky chic necklaces that are so popular right now without anyone openly mistaking me for a kindergarten teacher.

Yes…today was a good day.

The real triumph of the day however, undoubtedly, and per usual, came in the kitchen.

My tomato plants, having been seriously stunted by our lame summer, finally kicked into gear and produced a whole slew of beautiful, tomatoes. Add to that a bit of stale bread in my freezer, and a shameless desire to recreate the oh-so-delicious panzanella salad I recently had at Rowhouse and we were in action.

This is very easy and quick to make, and is beautiful when presented. A perfect way to use the last of summer’s bounty.

Panzanella Salad with Kalamata Olives, Garbanzo Beans, and Basil

Serves 4-6

1/2 pound (about 5 cups)  stale bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes.  You want the bread to be substantial; think french bread or sour dough.

1 lb ripe tomatoes (about 3-4 cups), cut into 3/4 inch pieces

1/2 cup diced red onion

1 can garbanzo beans

1/4 cup kalamata olives

1/2 cup fresh mozzarella (optional)

1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced

1/2 cup olive oil, + 3-4 TB

3 TB Balsamic

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1. In a large bowl, toss the bread with 3 TB olive oil. Add the remaining 1 TB to a cast iron skillet, bring to medium heat, and brown the bread as if making croutons. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. In the same serving bowl, add the olive oil, balsamic, salt, and pepper and whisk to make a dressing.

3. Add to the bowl the tomatoes, the garbanzo, the red onions, the kalamata olives, the mozzarella (optional), the basil, and the bread.


4. Toss to thoroughly combine.

5. Let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes, or until the bread has absorbed the tomato juices without losing its texture.



  1. Oh how I love your way of dealing with the vicissitudes of life- one step here, one breath there, one olive on the plate, tomatoes saved from the impending frost.

    I, too, sensed the season’s changing and gathered the last of the Roma tomatoes, clipped some oregano and basil and concocted my last fresh sauce of the summer. Some red and green peppers and a Vidalia onion added to the above in a skillet along with some garlic, four chugs of red wine (a couple chugs saved for me while I’m creating this) and one chug of Balsamic vinegar to sweeten up the batch. Voila. Now, drape over some pasta and cap with Parmesan and Mozz. bliss

  2. madelimes says:

    I love this post for oh so many reasons not limited to:
    – this recipe sounds delicious and would totally impress my super hot sex god of a date (he’s so dreamy, and so not imaginary)
    – your ability to pull off a chunky-chic necklace. am very envious, very difficult. obviously indicative of goddess-like abilities
    – that fellow blogger is a writer extraordinaire – articulate, addictive, awe-inspiring: The new voice of our generation

  3. This recipe sounds and looks impressive, yet oh so simple. I love the step by step pics.

    I can’t wait to try this recipe.
    Thanks for inspiring me.

  4. Mark says:

    Love this salad and I love the recipe. Love the consistency of the photographs, including the building of the salad.

    Great post!

    • Erina says:

      Thanks Mark! This really was incredibly easy to make and so delicious! Let me know if you try it out what you think. Thanks for reading!

    • Erina says:

      Oooh, I bet Rye would be very pretty to add in there…create even a bit more variation. And love Thai basil. Thanks for the suggestions! Please feel free to share the blog with other folks you think might enjoy. Love building the community of fellow foodies.

  5. […] anyone reading it? It can’t just be my mom reading it…can it? Do people think I’m funny? Do they think I’m pretty? Do they like my food?” The more that little voice goes off […]

  6. […] Salads: Panzanella Salad with Kalamata Olives, Garbanzo Beans, and Basil […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *