Panzanella is a traditional Italian salad made with stale bread, tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and vinegar. It’s simple (all you need is a knife, and some time to wait for the bread to soak in the dressing), versatile (any kind of vegetable can find a happy home in one), and fresh.
But why is it only savory? A fruit panzanella takes the same mix of bread, fresh produce, and acid, and turns it into something that’s great for breakfast, an afternoon snack, or dessert.
For this version, we macerate blackberries with honey, freshly-squeezed orange juice, and white balsamic; vinegar highlights and punches up the berry flavor. Mashing some of the berries releases their juices, giving you the liquid that will soak your bread. A crusty loaf of whole-grain nut-and-seed bread that’s been cubed up, tossed in olive oil and honey and then dried out in the oven is your base, and unsalted pistachios and shredded mint are added pops of crunch and flavor. Add a dollop of yogurt at breakfast, or a scoop of ice cream for dessert.
Like a traditional panzanella, this is more a method than a recipe — make it all spring and summer long, substituting whatever’s seasonal and playing with the flavors. Strawberry, basil, and almond in the spring; peaches, ginger, and macadamia nuts in the summer; plums, thyme, and walnuts as summer starts to wane.