Traditional recipes

Heirloom Tomato Bread Salad

Heirloom Tomato Bread Salad


  • 4 Cups cubed (1-inch pieces) crusty bread
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 4 heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Cup sliced cucumbers
  • 1 ear corn, sliced off the cob
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 Tablespoons chiffonade basil
  • 1/2 Cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and toss to coat. Bake until golden, about 12-15 minutes, and set aside to cool.

Then, place the tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, onion, basil, olives, and bread in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Pour onto the salad and toss to coat. Serve.

Nutritional Facts


Calories Per Serving353

Folate equivalent (total)92µg23%

Riboflavin (B2)0.2mg11.6%

Recipe Summary

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 large multicolor heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 medium English cucumbers, sliced
  • ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese

Whisk basil, lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl to make dressing.

Arrange tomatoes and cucumbers in a serving dish. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with feta cheese.

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This was excellent. I must admit that I am being one of those super annoying readers who deviated from the recipe, but I think my way was simpler and was super yummy. I only used halved heirloom grape/cherry tomatoes, omitted the celery (not a fan), and I used goat cheese -boyfriend doesn't like blue :(( It was amazing. Highly recommend.

I have made so many tomato salads and have to say this is my favorite. The only advice I have is that you not put the bread in the salad unless it will all be eaten that sitting because the bread gets soggy. I leave the celery in because it gives it some crunch. I've made this so many times I can't count.

i have made this several times now and each time it gets RAVE reviews. i mean RAVE reviews. people are OBSESSED with it and want me to make it again and again, and that's great because it's so easy! a couple notes: make sure to use CRUSTY bread, not just french bread. it's just not the same. i left out the celery. and i like it that way. this last time i smeared each piece of bread with a mixture of garlic paste and olive oil prior to broiling. which worked really well! i'm thinking next time i'm going to try adding some bacon and maybe some avocados. everyone LOVES it and so do i!

This is a beautiful salad, and got raves when I took it to a party. Next time I would just sprinkle all the vegs, including tiny tomatoes and scallions, over the sliced tomatoes, then pour olive oil over all. I found it hard to evenly scatter the oil mixture. And even though others loved the blue cheese on it, for some reason I didn't, and would use feta or goat cheese next time.

I would give this five forks if another one was available! It's so good and so pretty. I make it exactly as is. don't change a thing. Just picked five gorgeous heirlooms from the garden. will be making this tomorrow!

I made this with yellow & red tomatoes, avocadoes instead of celery, and completley forgot to do the cheese -- it turned out as a "salad" more in the spirit of baba ghanouj my tomatoes were a bit mushy. BUT. the flavour was amazing. And scooping it up with the grilled garlicky bread was amazing. Delish!

This one is in heavy rotation in our house come tomato season. Delicious, simple, and easy on the eyes. Definite winner for anyone who loves heirloom tomatoes like we do.

This was such a great salad. We've decided it's our fav. way to use homegrown tomatoes. I kept the recipe pretty much as written, just added fresh parsley as well as basil and combined both goat and blue cheese and drizzled a balsamic glaze over everything. Excellent.

Made this with fresh garden cherry tomatoes and fresh heirloom tomatoes from my farm share. Not a big celery fan, so I omitted the celery. It was PHENOMENAL and BEAUTIFUL. I usually would be tempted to add some lemon or dijon to something like this, but I'm glad I didn't. If you have fresh from the garden tomatoes, let their flavor shine with the simplicity of this recipe.

Four forks, for everything from ease of preparation to value for taste. I *love* tomatoes, but that fact aside, this salad is simply divine. The textures and flavors combine perfectly. I used homegrown grape tomatoes and beefsteaks, then about three or four small heirloom tomatoes that I bought to round out the flavors and colors. Really, just about a perfect a salad as you can make.

Great salad, easy and quick to make. It would work better to make individual serving rather than one platter. It would still make a nice presentaion. When presented on the platter you don't get an even distrution of the toppings when serving. The croutons are a must.

I have made this every summer since it was in the magazine five years ago. I usually omit the bread, but make the rest as written. It's one reason to plant tomatoes!

I had a similiar dish like this at Scott's Seafood in Palo Alto recently, and they slightly wilted the onions to reduce the pungent flavor. This really brought out the sweetness in the tomatoes and a tang with the cheese. YUM!

this salad is so beautiful and tastes fantastic. so important to use the heirloom tomatoes! i serve mine over the grilled bread, and top with drizzled balsamic. for a photo, see: 981387782/in/set-72157601114009699/

I love this salad and anxiously await the arrival of heirloom tomatoes at Trader Joe's each summer! Saw them today. Will be making the salad tonight. Its delicious and so pretty too.

This is a tremendous dish and it can be served as a salad an appetizer or even a light dinner. The flavors work well together and the acidity of the tomatoes, the crunch of the onion and celery plus the creaminess of the cheese make this a dish that dances in your mouth. This is a big time favorite of mine

I love tomatoes and make this dish frequently. However, I always omit the celery and I only use a small amount of cheese, so the tomatoes are the dominant flavor. It goes with all our summer dishes, from hamburgers to lobster.

Nothing to say except perfect. I used beautiful organic heirloom tomatoes (lucky to get them for only $1.00/lb), so the presentation was wonderful. Simple to let the natural flavor of these once-a-year beauties come through. Used it as a flat plate salad and also layered in to bring to work. Both worked great. The blue cheese is always a hit, but for those who aren't fond of it, use gueryere -- wonderful.

Made this for a dinner party and received rave reviews. One guest practically shovelled it in! I eliminated the toast and simply arranged the salad on a large platter -looked gorgeous! Next time I'll try the toast to sop up all the yummy juice.

I had a basket full of cherry tomatoes that my neighbor gave me this afternoon, and a whole bunch of basil from my own garden. I used this recipe as a jumping off point I cut the tomatoes in half, then topped them with julienned red onion, slivered basil, and crumbled blue cheese. Sea salt and black pepper, of course -- then drizzled it all with Newman's Italian dressing ( okay you foodies, you can scoff at me now, but personally I like his salad dressing!!). It was EXCELLENT. Great in a pinch. In fact next week when my neighbor brings me more tomatoes, I will make the exact same salad. It tastes just like SUMMER.

I LOVE this recipe. The only change I've made is substituting regular garden tomatoes rather than heirloom (the cost!) but if I can find some at a farmer's market, I'll grab them and make this again and again. I absolutely love this salad. This is such a great summer recipe!

Have made this a few times, with and without the cheese, but I must say it definitely adds depth to the flavors of this salad. I often don't bother with the toast and serve crusty bread instead.

I left out the celery as suggested by another reviewer and it was great! I made a low-carb version w/out the bread and it was delicious just as a salad and much simpler to make

I made this several times last summer and couldn't wait for summer to finally roll around again this year so I can make it again. I've used different varieties of heirloom tomatoes and it has turned out wonderful each and every time. All my friends have raved about this dish. It's simple, sure, but I see nothing wrong with that. I've used goat cheese when I didn't have blue cheese. If you love tomatoes, this is a great recipe.

How to Prepare a Panzanella Salad

Putting together this Heirloom Tomato Italian Bread Salad is super easy but here are a few tips to help you make this Panzanella salad recipe incredible!

Heirloom Tomatoes for Panzanella Salad

Now for the perfect heirloom tomatoes. You want a firm and plump tomato. Color doesn’t determine too much of the taste but it is fun to have yellows, greens, and purples going on throughout the salad.

When you purchase your heirloom tomatoes, it is important that you store them correctly to help them last longer. Always store tomatoes outside of the fridge. Cooling your tomatoes makes the meat mealy over time, messing with the texture. Also, place your tomatoes on a parchment lined sheet pan, upside down. This keeps the tomatoes from sitting in their gases that they inevitably produce over time.

I will usually cut out the top part of the tomato that attached to the vine and go from there with cutting up the tomato. Have fun with the different shapes as they will add character to your salads. Cut quarter wedges, slices, and even half moons. I typically eat this salad with a butter knife anyway, so I’m able to have bigger than bite-sized pieces of tomato in this salad.

Panzanella Salad Dressing

The unsung hero, I believe, of this salad, is simple but delicious red wine vinaigrette. There is something about pairing red wine vinegar with tomatoes that just makes sense. Don’t worry about having a super-emulsified vinaigrette this is a rustic dish and it totally makes sense to have a “broken” dressing.

Since this vinaigrette is sweetened with honey, it makes this Panzanella salad non-vegan-friendly. However, if you have any vegan-friendly sweeteners that you like to use, feel free to substitute the honey out and enjoy a vegan salad.

How to Make Italian Bread Salad

So how do we construct a perfect Panzanella salad? It’s all a matter of knowing how to pick the perfect ingredients! As stated above, a typical Panzanella salad recipe includes

  • Tomatoes
  • Crusty bread
  • Onions
  • Basil
  • Cucumbers
  • Olive Oil

In this Heirloom Italian Bread Salad, I use two types of tomatoes (cherry and heirlooms) and make a delicious red wine vinaigrette to tie this salad together.

I love using artisan breads for this salad because they stand up really well to the soaking in the vinaigrette without getting too soggy.

Other suitable breads would be a ciabatta, French loaf, or even sourdough bread. Basically, you want a good bread with a sturdy texture. I would then dry out my bread overnight and let it get stale. Some people even roast their bread in the oven, tossed in olive oil and seasoned, to give it more pizzazz.

Here are some tips for putting this salad together so that it can be enjoyed fully.

Cut all of your ingredients and marinate the vegetables with the vinaigrette in a bowl for a few hours at room temperature.

Cover the bowl of marinating veggies and let them all hang out. The tomato juices will start to leach out into the vinaigrette which will lead to a fuller taste to the dressing. Then at the last minute, before serving, toss in your stale bread and gently coat the bread with the vinaigrette so that the bread becomes slightly softened.

Bonus Tip! If you want this salad to have a more fine-dining, gourmet feel to it, plate only a fraction of the salad and highlight different shapes and cuts of veggies.

There you have it! The perfect Italian bread salad is full of amazing summer flavors like tomatoes, cucumbers and a killer red wine vinaigrette! Make this salad how you like it. I would definitely applaud the addition of sweet peppers, or even some mozzarella. Mmmmm delicious. I’m starting to get ideas for some new dishes just thinking about this!

Enjoy this awesome salad and if you have especially enjoyed it, feel free to leave a comment down below (with a rating)

Heirloom Tomato Bread Salad - Recipes

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, toss the bread with 2 tablespoons oil. Transfer the bread to a baking sheet and bake for 7–10 minutes, or until crisp. Transfer to a bowl.

Add the tomatoes to a bowl with the bread, sprinkle with the salt and toss to combine. Allow to sit for 15–20 minutes.

In a small, ungreased skillet, toast the pine nuts (or sliced almonds) over low heat, tossing frequently, until golden, 2–5 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a plate so they don’t keep cooking.

Add the beans, vinegar, basil, pine nuts and remaining 3 tablespoons oil to the bowl with the bread and tomatoes and toss to combine. Add the cheese and toss gently.

Note: If you prefer crunchier bread, toss the bread and tomatoes just as you are ready to combine the rest of the ingredients.

Recipe from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Recipe Cookbook, published 2011. Used with permission of Sterling Epicure

Here’s the Rustic Bread Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes Recipe:


      • 1/2 cup extra olive oil
      • 6 cloves garlic, crushed by the side of your knife, but kept whole
      • 4 cups baguette, torn into pieces
      • 1 small red onion, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
      • 4 cups heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
      • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
      • 1 small bunch fresh basil, stemmed
      • 1 tablespoon capers
      • sea salt
      • freshly ground pepper


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      Fantastic recipe, I have been asked for the recipe several times. You can substitute fresh jalapeno for the canned chipotle chili. I also add baby spinach or arugula for an extra something something.

      This is my all time favorite Epicurious recipe. The flavor combination is perfect. Grilling the bread and tomatoes elevates this above other tomato bread salad recipes and the addition of chipolte makes it truly an amazing salad. I usually wind-up eating half the bowl during the "standing" time. Bobby Flay gets an A+++ for this recipe.

      Very popular at our house. It doesn't keep well, so don't make more than you're going to eat at one sitting.

      This was easy and I was able to grill the tomatoes and bread at the same time as I vertically grilled a chicken so everything was ready at once. There were no leftovers!

      I don't understand what's so fantastic about this recipe. I grilled tomatoes and bread on a charcoal grill, but the flavor did not come through. A lot of work for little return.

      I was looking for other things to make this memorial day and happened upon this forgotten dish from last summer. This is DELISH! Goes great with a nice sauvignon blanc. Can't make for 15 people, but will make soon again for me and my husband. Seems like authentic italian (except for chiopotle - which I Love). A little different but most interesting.

      I loved this salad for its smoky taste, but, unfortunately my family didn't care for it. They thought it was too "mushy". (too bad. because it would use up left over baguettes and the abundance of tomatoes from the garden)

      The flavors in the salad are just out-of-this-world. Yes, it takes a bit more time to grill tomatoes and bread (vs. italian bread salads) - but if you like cilantro and chipotle, it's worth the time.

      I had some initial reservations about making this salad but it is REALLY tasty! We will make this one of our regular side dishes. Be sure not to overcook the tomatoes on the grill. They are much nicer if still a little firm.

      This recipe became a summer favorite with the first bite. I used dried chipotle, which I rehydrated in warm water, instead of canned and added about a teaspoon of sugar to the dressing. I highly recommend this salad. It makes a main course secondary.

      Goin's Grilled Steak with Tomato Bread Salad

      In a bowl, combine the garlic with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the cracked pepper. Spread the paste on the steaks, top with the thyme and stack the steaks on top of each other. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before grilling.

      In a small bowl, mash the Roquefort with the butter until smooth.

      In another small bowl, combine the vinegar, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and let stand until the salt is dissolved. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the olive oil and season with ground pepper.

      Preheat the oven to 350°. Toss the bread pieces with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, arrange on a baking sheet and toast for about 15 minutes, or until golden and just crisp. Let cool.

      Light a grill or heat a grill pan. Scrape the marinade off the meat and season with sea salt. Grill the steaks over moderately high heat until seared and crusty, about 3 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.

      In a bowl, toss the bread with the heirloom and cherry tomatoes, the onion, olives and the vinaigrette. Gently toss in the arugula and basil, season with sea salt and transfer to large plates.

      Thinly slice the meat across the grain and arrange over the salads. Dot the steaks with the Roquefort butter and serve immediately.

      Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad

      Homemade sourdough croutons soak up the flavors of fresh heirloom tomatoes and Parmigiano Reggiano in this simple, summery salad.


      • 3¾ pounds heirloom tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
      • ½ shallot, julienned
      • 1½ tablespoons salt
      • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
      • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
      • Pepper, to taste
      • 2 stale sourdough batards, cut into ½-inch cubes (2 pounds 12 ounces)
      • 1 cup olive oil, for frying
      • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
      • 10 fresh basil leaves, shredded


      In a large nonreactive bowl, combine tomatoes, shallot and 2 teaspoons salt.

      Make a dressing by combining olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Add dressing to the tomatoes, mix and let sit for 1 hour.

      After an hour, taste the liquid at the bottom of the tomatoes and adjust seasoning with additional vinegar, salt or sugar as needed.

      In a large pan and several batches, fry cubed bread in olive oil until crispy and browned.

      Combine fried bread, grated cheese and a sprinkle of salt in a large bowl and toss to combine. Place bread and cheese mix on a lined sheet pan, and bake 2-4 minutes, until cheese is melted. Let cool. After tomatoes have rested, combine with toasted croutons and basil and serve immediately.

      Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad

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      Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad!! My ultimate summer meal. It's so effortless and is a really excellent excuse to eat deliciously crispybutnotquite sourdough bread with fresh tomatoes, crunchy red onion and refreshing cucumber. All drizzled with an easy peezy red wine vinaigrette of course!

      I'm going to state right off the bat that although the traditional recipe was created as a way to get rid of stale bread, I use fresh bread. I like the texture quite a bit more when you it dry out in the oven for 15 minutes, tossed with a little olive oil and salt. Just a better over all crunch. Also, there's just no way a brand new rustic sourdough baguette is going to last even a few hours in my house, let alone over night.

      Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad is just SO easy. If you use already dried aka stale sourdough bread (or a crusty rustic of your choice), there's actually no cooking. Dicing, sitting, eating. Yes please! If you use fresh bread the way I do, you get even better flavor with minimal effort. The only extra step? 15 minutes in the oven. I ate about half the bread cubes once baked before they even made it to the salad bowl. No regrets. They do taste wonderful though once they've infused some of the juices in the salad. Most recipes will say to let the salad sit for up to 4 hours before serving. I prefer about 1 ½ hours, so the bread is still nice and crunchy on the inside and vinaigrette-y on the outside.

      Also, don't you just LOVE the colors?? I have absolutely fallen in love with heirloom tomatoes this year. They can be tricky though. Quite frequently, they look great at the store and then you reach for one and discover its gone all squishy and gross. In case you didn't know, I cannot abide squishy tomatoes. So if they come in a plastic container (weird but sometimes they do), make sure to open it up and check them out or you might be massively disappointed when you get home. And we can't have that now can we? As you simply MUST have Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad this summer. .