Panzanella Salad with Salmon

Panzanella salad is such a refreshing dish on a hot summer day. I have been ordering it from local favorite Bardenay for years, but I finally decided to recreate this dish at home. I’m not sure why I didn’t try sooner, as this one was easy to replicate.

This dish also takes advantage of home-grown veggies in the garden, including those cucumbers that seem to multiply exponentially late in the season.

It probably took me less than 20 minutes to pull together, too, an added bonus for this tasty treat.

Serves 3

Salad ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber, chopped into small chunks
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced into bite-sized wedges
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced (or more if you’re an onion fan)
  • 1/4 cup olives (whatever olives you happen to like)
  • 3 slices of thick ‘bakery’ bread, toasted and chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 pound salmon

Note: You can alter increments based on your tastes. For example, I like mozzarella cheese more than feta so I put more of it in the salad. You could also serve the salad meatless or with grilled shrimp or chicken on the top.


  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 TBSP dijon mustard
  • 1-2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Prepare dressing

Whisk all ingredients of the dressing together and set aside.

Step 2: Prepare salad

Chip all salad ingredients, except bread, and mix together.

Step 3: Grill salmon

Season salmon with salt and pepper and grill about 10 minutes over medium heat until salmon is cooked, slightly pink in the center. Remove from heat. You can also bake or pan-fry if you prefer.

While salmon is still “cooking” off the heat, toast bread and chop into pieces. Add to salad mixture. Pour dressing  and mix all ingredients thoroughly. (Note: I recommend adding the dressing to the salad/bread mixture until just before serving so so the bread doesn’t get mushy.)

Step 4: Serve

Divide mixture onto 3 plates and place a piece of salmon on top.

Melinda Hinson