David Scott AllenProvencal RecipesSaladTaste

Panzanella a Summer Salad Recipe

It is the height of tomato season, and I cannot get enough of their bright red deliciousness. I will sometimes buy a couple of pounds from one vendor at the farmers market, then see more at another stall and buy them, too. Yes, I have even bought from three different vendors in a single day. So, maybe I have a problem…Continue reading here for the original blog post by: Cocoa & Lavender.

The Panzanella recipe follows below. This summer salad has its origins in Italy but could just as easily have been invented in Provence. All you need is some fresh tomatoes, cucumber, basil and stale bread. Enjoy this summer creation.

There are so many ways to use fresh tomatoes. I love making a Tomato Soup with Fennel and Pastis — there is nothing like it with a simple grilled cheese sandwich. Then there is my Tomato Saffron Cream Sauce for pasta — it is “lick your plate” good. And if you are in a Côte d’Azur mood, there is always the Tarte aux Tomates, perfect for lunch anytime (see recipe below).

Tarte aux Tomates
This tomato tart is very easy to make and a popular lunch option or tasty starter.
Check out this recipe
tarte aux tomates Tastes Provence

Panzanella a Summer Salad

Panzanella Salad

David Scott Allen | Cocoa & Lavender
This salad is perfectly suited for summer meals. Serve as a side or as a main with some grilled meat or fish, and of course some rosé.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 4 people


  • 1 1/2 lbs Ripe Tomatoes cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 6-8 oz Rustic Sourdough Bread cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 5 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil divided
  • 1 Cucumber peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 tbsp Red Wine vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • large handful of Basil Leaves torn (leaving a few whole for garnish)


  • Place tomatoes in a colander set over a bowl to save the juices, and season with the salt. Toss to coat. Set aside at room temperature to drain, tossing occasionally while you toast the bread.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
  • Remove colander with tomatoes from the bowl with tomato juice. Add the vinegar to the tomato juices, and whisk in the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil. Season dressing to taste with pepper (the tomatoes and their juice are already salty, so I don’t recommend adding additional salt).
  • Combine toasted and cooled bread cubes, tomatoes, cucumber, and torn basil leaves in a large bowl - drizzle dressing over the top. Toss everything to coat and taste for seasoning. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature before serving, tossing a couple of times in the interim to distribute the dressing.


Allow enough time (roughly 30 minutes) for the ingredients to "get to know each other" and for the bread to soften a little bit.
Keyword Basil, Cucumber, Salads, Tomatoes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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My version of this meal-sized salad from Nice for the purists and the rest of us.
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Orange, Fennel, Olive and Caper Salad
This easy salad brings zing and brightness to the table. The salt of the olives and capers balances the sweetness of the orange. This should really be made no earlier than 30 minutes before eating. If you want to get ahead, you can segment the orange earlier in the day and leave it sitting in the lemon juice.
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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

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