Summer Panzanella is the perfect combination of all things summer! Fresh mozzarella, the ripest tomatoes, sweet corn, a lemon basil dressing, and the yummiest bites of warm, fried, bread. All of this garnished with a drizzle of balsamic glaze which you can find next to the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in your local grocery store or order online here. This summer salad is quick and easy to make and the perfect recipe to enjoy outside on a warm summer night with a glass of your favorite white wine. I hope that you love our favorite panzanella salad!!!
In this post, I’ll walk you through making the three components for the salad. First, you will need to make the Lemon Basil Dressing. Next, you’ll need to fry the bread. And finally, you will prep the vegetables and mozzarella. It’s all pretty straight forward and absolutely worth it!!!
How to Make Lemon Basil Dressing:
This dressing is so, so yummy and truly a cinch to make. You’ll combine the basil, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and Papa Joe’s Salt in your blender or food processor, and blend on the highest speed until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Frying the Bread:
The fried bread in this recipe is really what takes the salad from really good, to out of this world! Crispy squares of warm bread fried in butter and olive oil = heaven! To fry the bread, you will melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then, you will add the cubed bread into the oil/butter combination and fry until golden brown. I like to do this in a single layer in a larger frying pan. I use a fork or smaller tongs to flip the bread cubes once they have browned on each side. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn. While the bread is frying, prepare the veggies and mozzarella.
Preparing the Vegetables and Mozzarella:
For this part of the salad, you’ll cut the corn form the cob, slice the tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, and then toss in the arugula and fried bread. I like to season the mozzarella and vegetables with a little extra bit of Papa Joe’s Salt too.
Finishing the Summer Panzanella:
Finally, you will toss the Lemon Basil Dressing with your salad, toss gently to combine, drizzle with balsamic glaze, and you’re done. You’ll want to serve this salad right away. Otherwise the bread will get soggy and cool off. The warm buttery bread is what makes this a dinner that you will never forget. I really hope you enjoy this dreamy summer panzanella salad.
Other delicious and easy recipes
- Potatoes Au Gratin
- Grilled Peach Caprese Salad with Honey and Basil
- Sweet Corn and Bacon Pizza with Arugula
- Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos
Summer Panzanella with Lemon Basil Dressing
Lemon Basil Dressing
- 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from about 1 1/2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon Papa Joe's Salt or mixture of salt and pepper
- 3 cups day old bread, cubed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pinch Papa Joe's Salt
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes or 2 large tomatoes diced
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 ears corn on the cob, peeled, rinsed, and removed from the cob
- 4-5 ounces arugula
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic Glaze
- fresh basil leaves
Lemon Basil Dressing
- In your blender or food processor, combine all of the dressing ingredients. Blend, on the highest speed, until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- In a large frying pan, warm butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add bread cubes, sprinkle with Papa Joe's Salt, and fry. Turning frequently, until golden brown on most sides. Turn off the heat and set aside until you are ready to serve the salad.
- While the bread is frying, slice tomatoes, mozzarella, and cut the corn from the cob. Combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl with the arugula.
- When you are ready to serve the salad, add the fried bread to the salad, toss with your Lemon Basil Dressing.
- Garnish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and additional tiny basil leaves. Serve immediately.
Love salad as much as we do? Check out our Grilled Peach Caprese Salad with Fresh Basil and Honey
This recipe was originally published on August 15, 2018 and updated on August 4, 2020.