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May 31, 2021

Roasted Pepper Panzanella

With bell peppers, toasted bread, Kalamata olives, cucumbers, onions and garlic vinaigrette, this roasted pepper panzanella is an easy salad.

With bell peppers, toasted bread, Kalamata olives, cucumbers, onions and garlic vinaigrette, this roasted pepper panzanella is an easy salad.

Roasted Pepper Panzanella

The other day my mom told me that my kitchen counter looked like a bakery. And she was absolutely right.

I had no less than 4 loaves of bread, all with their own purpose. That included bread for sandwiches and others just to be eaten dipped in olive oil.

Besides snacks and fruit, my 7-year-old’s school lunch involves slices of bread. He likes to eat them plain, so I make sure our house is stocked.

I don’t mind this request because it speeds up lunch prep, and more importantly, he actually consumes his lunch instead of bringing it home uneaten.

When I know we won’t finish the bread supply before it goes stale, I make homemade croutons.

Or I toast the bread to make a panzanella salad. No matter the season, I always love panzanellas. I think that’s because when I was learning to enjoy salads when I was younger, I went overboard on the toppings.

Now I look to this kind of salad when I am craving something with a lot of vegetables that’s filling, too.

Roasted Pepper Panzanella

A traditional panzanella has tomatoes, but I like to change up the veggies depending what I have and the time of year.

During the summer, I make this roasted pepper panzanella with cucumbers, olives, red onions and garlic vinaigrette.

Roasting bell peppers really brings out their sweetness, and I love how that balances with the mix of briny and fresh elements.

The Ingredients

This is what you need for the panzanella salad:

  • Bell peppers: I use red, yellow and orange peppers. They are always my go-to colors because I don’t care for the bitterness of green peppers.
  • Bread: You can toast whatever crusty loaf you have like ciabatta, sourdough or country bread. Just be sure to tear it into pieces, so you have jagged edges.
  • Olives: Pitted Kalamata olives are the type of olives I include in this salad for their salty flavor and meaty texture.
  • Cucumbers: I dice the cucumbers to a size that is similar to the olives. They add crunch along with the toasted bread.
  • Red onions: Thin slices of onions give the salad pungent bites here and there. 
  • Parmesan: Shaved Parmesan adds another layer of flavor, but if you are vegan, you can leave it out. 
  • Basil: To finish the panzanella, I fold in torn basil leaves for color and that signature summer herby flavor.
  • Garlic vinaigrette: The vinaigrette is a combination of white wine vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, dried oregano, salt and pepper.
Broiled peppers on a sheet pan

Roasting The Peppers

First, I turn the broiler on high for the peppers. I place them on a sheet pan and turn them every 2 minutes until they are bubbled and charred.

Next I put the peppers in a bowl and cover it. I let them sit for 15 minutes. This allows the steam to help release the skin from the peppers. Then it’s easier to rub off.

I slice the peppers into 1-inch wide strips and transfer them to a large bowl.

Peeled roasted peppers

You Can Also Use Grilled Peppers

Yes, grilling peppers for this recipe will work, too. In fact, it will impart a more smoky flavor on them. I recommend turning the peppers on the grill until they are heavily grill-marked all over.

Then do the same thing as you would if you broiled them and put the peppers in a bowl and cover it, wait 15 minutes and rub off the skin.

Toasted bread

Toasting The Bread

I tear the bread, so it’s in uneven pieces instead of cutting it into cubes. Then I toss the bread in olive oil, salt and pepper and spread it out on a sheet pan.

The bread turns golden brown and crisp in a 400 degree F oven.

Roasted Pepper Panzanella

How To Make A Roasted Pepper Panzanella Salad

To assemble the salad, I combine the peppers, olives, cucumbers, red onions and Parmesan a bowl.

Then in a separate bowl I whisk together the garlic vinaigrette, which has white wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, salt and black pepper.

After stirring the vinaigrette into the salad, I fold in the toasted bread, Parmesan and basil.

You can make the peppers and toasted bread in advance. If you are planning to have leftovers, do not add the toasted bread all at once because it will lose its crunch stored in the fridge in the salad. Just add the bread as you serve it.

Try One Of These Other Panzanellas

Strawberry Nectarine Panzanella Salad

Cornbread Panzanella Salad

Charred Tomato Panzanella Salad

Fall Panzanella Salad

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Roasted Pepper Panzanella

Roasted Pepper Panzanella

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22-27 minutes
  • Total Time: 32-37 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x

With bell peppers, toasted bread, Kalamata olives, cucumbers, onions and garlic vinaigrette, this roasted pepper panzanella is an easy salad.

Ingredients

  • For roasted peppers
  • 4 bell peppers (red, yellow and orange)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  •  
  • For toasted bread
  • 3 cups torn crusty bread
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • For salad
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 cup diced cucumbers
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan
  • Torn basil leaves for serving
  • For vinaigrette
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the broiler on high.
  2. Rub the peppers with 1 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Place the peppers on a sheet pan and broil until bubbling and charred all over, turning the peppers every 2 minutes. It will take 10-12 minutes.
  3. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover. Let the peppers sit for 15 minutes before rubbing off their skins, removing the seeds and cutting into 1-inch-wide strips.
  4. Turn off the broiler and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. On a sheet pan, toss the bread with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Spread the bread into a single layer and toast it in the oven until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.
  6. To assemble the salad, combine the peppers, olives, cucumbers and onions in a large bowl.
  7. For the vinaigrette, whisk together the white wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Pour the vinaigrette into the salad.
  8. Fold in the toasted bread, shaved Parmesan and basil leaves.

Notes

The peppers and bread can be made in advance.

If you are planning to have leftovers, stir in the amount of bread needed per serving.

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