Bread Salad is Our Favorite for Every Summer Occasion
You will never cry over a stale bread again
Food Editor at Kitchen Stories
Summer cooking is all about quick and easy: making the best use of ingredients that you have at hand and spare sweaty trips for grocery shopping. A regular guest in my kitchen is leftover bread: a piece of baguette, a few slices of ciabatta or bread from the previous barbecue, picnic, dinner, or restaurant visit (no waste, always!). With my love for bread stated, I need to get creative in how to use them up!
What do you make with stale bread?
It can be prepared on a whim, is not too heavy on the stomach, yet it's filling, and versatile, and tasty. But don't take me wrong, bread salad is not just a new home for the leftover bits and odds, it is the understated dish of every summer occasion!
Panzanella and many crispy variations
The Tuscan bread salad, Panzanella is probably the best known of all, with its beautiful, melodious name. Italians proved their magic with wheat flour in making pasta and pizza, why not add the staple bread to the leaves and veggies in the salad (or even replace them altogether)?
This classic Mediterranean bread salad is simple. It combines stale white bread or ciabatta with tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and onions. Then seasoned with salt, vinegar, and a good splash of olive oil. Traditionally, the dry bread is first soaked in water and vinegar. Many modern interpretations, however, don't celebrate the soggy bread as much and instead use toasted bread for more crunch.
Bread salads shine in various cuisines around the world. Fattoush, for example, is a beloved Syrian-Lebanese bread salad. It uses thin, deep-fried pita bread as a base (similar to Devan's fatteh). Mixed with tomatoes, cucumbers, and served with fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley, and mint, Finished with A dressing made with garlic, sumac, freshly squeezed lemon, and olive oil. The final magic touch? A dash of pomegranate syrup.
You can let your creativity run wild and go with what you like best (or already have on hand) when making your own bread salad! Grilled veggies or meat from your last barbecue party? Throw them in! Parma ham, buffalo mozzarella or freshly shaved Parmesan take your bread salad to a new level. Leaf lettuce, fresh or dried fruit, nuts, herbs, spices, or boiled eggs are also great additions to your bread salad.
We can’t get enough from these bread salads!
Last summer, I was obsessed with Lisa's simple 5-ingredient version with halloumi and nectarines. Luckily I find something new to add to my list: this bright, crispy bread salad with chicken breast from my colleague Lisa-Kristin.
Crispy bread salad with chicken and radicchio
Lisa-Kristin fried light baguette in butter to get these crispy, golden-brown croutons. Romaine lettuce and purple radicchio are there for a touch of freshness, color contrast, and a touch of crispness. It gets a protein upgrade from pan-fried juicy chicken breast. If you have a little more time, you can marinate the meat ahead of time, and of course, it tastes great from the grill. The ultimate Mediterranean touch and intense flavors that make us dream of the next or last vacation are brought by salty green olives and freshly shaved Parmesan. The dressing is definitely going into my salad dressing repertoire: roasted garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and honey combine thanks to a stand mixer to create a refreshing sauce that rounds out the salad beautifully.
Are your mouths watering already? The even better part is the chopping can be done by tearing them - your meal will be on the table in just 30 minutes!
More bread salad recipes that we love:
5-ingredient panzanella with nectarines and halloumi
Panzanella bread salad
Panzanella salad, dressed 3 ways
Fattoush (Middle Eastern bread salad)
Still got leftover bread? Here are a few ideas how you can turn them into delicious meals.
Published on June 6, 2022