Recipes Salads Vegetable Salads Bread Salad with Tomatoes and Lemon Cucumbers
Bread Salad with Tomatoes and Lemon Cucumbers

Bread Salad with Tomatoes and Lemon Cucumbers

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6 Serves 4 to 6.
This rustic Tuscan salad, called panzanella, is best when made with a chewy, coarsely textured white bread. The bread must be at least 3 to 4 days old to provide the correct texture when mixed with tomatoes and vinaigrette. Round, yellow lemon cucumbers deliver a sweet, mild flavor to the salad.


  • 3 lemon cucumbers or 1 English (hothouse)
      cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and
  • Coarse salt, to taste
  • 1/2 lb. stale coarse-textured white bread
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5 ripe tomatoes, 1 1/2 to 2 lb. total, seeded
      and diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 4 to 5 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn
      into small pieces


Spread the diced cucumbers on paper towels and sprinkle with coarse salt. Let stand for 15 minutes. Place the cucumbers in a colander and rinse with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels.

Meanwhile, cut the bread into slices 1 inch thick and place in a shallow dish. Sprinkle the bread with the water and let stand for 2 minutes. Then carefully squeeze the bread until it is dry. Tear into rough 1-inch pieces and place on paper towels. Let stand for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and bread and toss gently.

In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the bread mixture and the basil, mix gently and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.

Transfer the salad to a platter and serve chilled.
Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series, Summer, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).