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Rustic Italian Panzanella Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, and Tuna

Rustic Italian Panzanella Salad

This rustic Italian salad is a perfect way to use all those summer tomatoes.  The addition of bread and tuna make this hearty enough for a main meal that's perfectly light.  

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4


  • 1 small loaf ciabatta or other Italian bread torn into bite size pieces and left out overnight to harden
  • 12 oz largely diced pomodoro or cherry tomatoes
  • 2 oz halved green olives
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 oz canned tuna
  • 1 small shallot thinly sliced
  • 2 large bunches of basil torn
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 4 oz burrata or fresh mozarella


  1. If you're planning in advance, tear the loaf of bread into bite size pieces the night before you plan on making the salad and leave it out to harden. If you want to make the salad the day of, just bake the pieces of bread in a 300 degree oven for 20-30 minutes to achieve the same result.
  2. Start by prepping your produce. Dice tomatoes, chop olives, mince garlic, and thinly slice the shallot. Combine all of those ingredients in a large mixing bowl, being careful to keep as much of the tomato juices as possible. Stir to combine.

  3. Next, add the tuna, torn basil, olive oil, white wine vinegar, and kosher salt. Stir to combine all of the ingredients and let sit for at least 15 minutes
  4. Finally, add the bread to the rest of the salad in batches and stir to combine. Adding the bread in batches helps to make sure you get the right balance of bread to tomato dressing ratio. Depending on how juicy your tomatoes are you might need less bread than the full small loaf.

  5. Let the bread meld with the rest of the salad for another half an hour or so to really soak up the juices

  6. Spoon the salad onto individual plates and top each with fresh burrata or mozzarella cheese