There is nothing better than taking all of Summer’s bounty and throwing it into an easy, no-oven salad! This Stone Fruit Caprese Panzanella Salad is at once familiar and comforting with a hint of the unexpected!
I live here now.
But actually! Lol. Summer hits the NYC farmer’s markets and I just can’t stop.
All the berries, all the heirloom tomatoes, all the peaches, nectarines and cherries!
This Stone Fruit Caprese Panzanella Salad is my everything right now. E-v-e-r-y-thing.
A little sweetness from the peaches and nectarines; a little zip from the pickled cherries; creamy mozzarella; sweet, ripe heirloom tomatoes; crunchy, buttery, pan-fried bread; the comforting acidity of a garlicy balsamic vinaigrette; and a generous shower of basil chiffonade.
I know that sounds like a mouthful – a scrumptious, perfectly balanced mouthful. And it is but trust me when I tell you that it comes together in a snap. I have been making this salad on repeat for 2 weeks [If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen it make several cameos on my stories]
I made a large batch of the crunchy croutons and vinaigrette. Then I cut and throw everything into a bowl, dress, toss and dig in! Repeat.
If you want a little bit more protein, I’ve been known to toss in some leftover roasted chicken or (AND) avocado!
Note on the dressing: I like my salad dressings a bit more acidic. A traditional vinaigrette ratio is 3:1 oil to vinegar, but I like mine 1:1 or sometimes 2:1. It’s a taste preference and also for the waistline. I’d rather eat more cheese. I am who I am. You can adjust this dressing to the traditional ratio if you prefer.
Stone Fruit Caprese Panzanella Salad
For the Salad:
- 4 Thick slices of day old sourdough or crusty Italian bread (cut into cubes)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 Heirloom Tomatoes (cut in large chunks)
- 2 oz Mozzarella (cut in bite-size chunks)
- 1 Nectarine (cut in bite-size pieces)
- 1 Peach (cut in bite-size pieces)
- 10 pickled cherries
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil (chiffonade or just torn)
- 2 cups mixed baby greens
- Salt & Pepper
For the Dressing:
- ½ Cup Balsamic Vinegar (choose a good one)
- ¼ Cup Walnut Oil (or another mild, neutral oil)
- 2 small garlic cloves (minced)
- 2 tablespoons honey (more or less to taste)
- Salt & Pepper
- Make those Croutons!
- Pan Fried Method: Heat the butter and olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter gets all nice and melty add the croutons, working in batches if you need to. Toss the croutons in the butter in the pan so they get some butter on all sides. Season with salt and pepper. Toast on medium-low until you get a nice golden brown on all sides. Remove from heat to cool
- Oven Method: Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt butter and olive in a little pot. Toss bread in butter mixture, season with salt and pepper. Spread out in one layer on a sheet pan or cookie sheet. Toast in oven, until all sides are a nice golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.
- Assemble your salad: Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and dress with the vinaigrette, tossing to coat evening. Season the salad with salt and pepper. Tomatoes LOVE salt, so don’t forget to give them some love.
For the salad dressing:
- Combine all ingredients in a container, shake vigorously to emulsify. The garlic is a temporary emulsifier but they will eventually separate. Just shake before using!