Tomato-Herb Panzanella

A panzanella salad is the perfect summer side dish.

Tomato-Herb Panzanella
Photo: Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Christine Keely
Active Time:
20 mins
Bake Time:
15 mins
Stand Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 5 mins

Tomatoes, herbs, and toasted bread come together to make a vibrant, shareable side in this bright dish made for the warm weather. Think of this panzanella as a salad where the toasty, golden-brown croutons are the star of the show. After all, aren't the croutons always the best part?

Our Tomato-Herb Panzanella is the perfect, extra-colorful addition to a spring or summer dinner party. Take a trip to the farmers' market and use local produce—specifically, heirloom tomatoes—to really upgrade this panzanella salad. Peppery baby arugula lightens up this salad, dressed simply with vinegar, mustard, olive oil, and garlic. The capers add a nice briny note, while the basil and tarragon bring herby freshness.

Letting the panzanella stand at room temperature before serving allows the bread to soften, the dressing to soak into the croutons, and all the flavors to meld together. Serve this tomato panzanella al fresco with a roast chicken and a bottle of sancerre. If you have some left over, you're in luck: This a dish you'll want to enjoy day after day.


  • 8 ounces rustic boule bread (from 1 [16-oz.] loaf), cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)

  • ¼ cup plus ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 2 ½ pounds assorted tomatoes (such as heirloom or beefsteak), cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 (14-oz.) English cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced

  • 2 cups loosely packed baby arugula

  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves

  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped

  • ¼ cup nonpareil capers

  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 small garlic clove, grated


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss together bread, ¼ cup of the oil, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper on a large rimmed baking sheet; spread mixture in an even layer. Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 15 minutes, tossing once halfway through cook time.

  2. Toss together tomatoes, cucumber, arugula, basil, tarragon, capers, and toasted bread in a large bowl; set aside.

  3. Stir together vinegar, mustard, garlic, and remaining ⅓ cup oil, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a small bowl until combined. Drizzle over tomato mixture in bowl; gently toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Serve.

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