This Panzanella Salad is anything but boring! A little twist on the classic Italian Panzanella, transformed my ripe tomatoes; stale bread; and leftovers into a satisfying, glorious appetizer!

Cutting board loaded with salad ingredients all laid out to be served

Just like Middle Eastern Fattoush, and Spanish Gazpacho, a traditional Panzanella Salad is basically another easy, "poor man's" answer to leftovers.

Take toasted day-old ciabatta bread, or any crusty Italian bread of your choice, and toss in a light vinaigrette with tomatoes and onions, and you have yourself a classic Tuscan Panzanella Salad.

Today's Panzanella salad recipe was my answer to using up some old bread and some farmer's market tomatoes that were going pretty ripe.  I surveyed my fridge to see what else I should use up! Three lone zucchinis. A handful of cooked shrimp. Some Italian cold cuts. All in the Panzanella salad they went!

Shrimp and Zucchini Panzanella Salad served on a cutting board with sauce for dipping

But rather than tossing everything in a bowl, I decided to nicely arrange my panzanella salad on a large cheese board-- the French call it “salade composée,”a composed salad.

Just like that, my humble panzanella salad became a meal in itself!

The colorful vegetables, and my rich leftovers of cooked shrimp, Italian meats, cheese, etc. looked far more appealing in the"spotlight."

Display of Colorful ingredients used in the salad

You can choose to serve this composed panzanella salad with a vinaigrette of your choice; but the thicker, garlicy sun-dried tomato dressing here really adds great flavor. It also makes a great dip or a sandwich spread!

Here is today's panzanella salad tutorial:

(scroll down for the print-friendly recipes)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
First make the sun-dried tomato dressing. In a large food processor, add all the dressing ingredients except the extra virgin olive oil. Blend. While the processor is running, slowly pour the extra virgin olive oil through the processor tube. Let the processor run until the dressing is well-blended and smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Pour into a separate container. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve the salad.

Ingredients of sun-dried tomato dressing added to food processor

sun-dried tomato dressing ingredients blended together until smooth

Now make the Panzanella salad. Toss the zucchini cubes in some extra virgin olive oil, and spread on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake in the 450 degrees F heated-oven for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Zucchini cubes after being baked in the oven

Remove the zucchini from the oven and reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees F. Now toss the bread cubes with a generous amount of olive oil. Spread on a large lightly oiled baking sheet, season with peppers only, and bake in the 350 degrees F heated-oven for 15 minutes or so

Cubes of bread after being baked in the oven

Meanwhile compose the salad. Place a small bowl of the sun-dried tomato dressing on one side of a large tray or wood cheese board like this one.

Then begin to arrange the ingredients on the board beginning with the large slices of heirloom tomatoes (as the centerpiece, so to speak). Add the roasted zucchini, green onions, the cooked shrimp, your choice of Italian meats, olives, cheese, and fresh herbs around the tomatoes. Leave room on the board for the bread.
When the bread is ready, add it where you have made room on the board, and scatter some across the salad. If you have extra toasted bread, simply place it in its own basket or bowl next to the salad. Enjoy!

Collection of cheese, fish, olives, meats and veggies with a sun-dried tomato dipping sauce

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Shrimp and Zucchini Panzanella Salad Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. An all-star Italian Panzenalla Salad with heirloom tomatoes, shrimp, roasted zucchini and more! A thick garlicy sun-dried tomato dressing served on the side! The perfect appetizer for a crowd! See more at TheMediterraneanDish.com

Shrimp and Zucchini Panzanella Salad w/ Sun-dried Tomato Dressing


Description

This Panzanella Salad is anything but boring! A little twist on the classic Italian Panzanella, transformed my ripe tomatoes; stale bread; and leftovers into a satisfying, glorious appetizer!


Ingredients

Scale

For the Sun-dried Tomato Dressing

  • 3 oz Sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 ripe Roma tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbsp shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large lemon, juice of
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the Panzanella Salad

  • 3 Medium size zucchini, cut into large cubes or pieces
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 large tomatoes, preferably heirloom tomatoes of different color, sliced
  • 2-3 green onions, trimmed
  • 1 Loaf Ciabatta bread or similar Italian crusty bread, cut into small cubes
  • ½ lb large cooked shrimp, tails on
  • 6 oz sliced Prosciutto di Parma
  • 6 oz sliced salami
  • Feta cheese or fresh baby mozzarella
  • Olives, a variety
  • Fresh mint or basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. First make the sun-dried tomato dressing. In a large food processor, add all the dressing ingredients except the extra virgin olive oil. Blend. While the processor is running, slowly pour the extra virgin olive oil through the processor tube. Let the processor run until the dressing is well-blended and smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Pour into a separate container. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve the salad.
  3. Now make the Panzanella salad. Toss the zucchini cubes in some extra virgin olive oil, and spread on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake in the 450 degrees F heated-oven for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.
  4. Remove the zucchini from the oven and reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees F. Now toss the bread cubes with a generous amount of olive oil. Spread on a large lightly oiled baking sheet, season with peppers only, and bake in the 350 degrees F heated-oven for 15 minutes or so
  5. Meanwhile compose the salad. Place a small bowl of the sun-dried tomato dressing on one side of a large tray or wood cheese board like this one. Then begin to arrange the ingredients on the board beginning with the large slices of heirloom tomatoes (as the centerpiece, so to speak). Add the roasted zucchini, green onions, the cooked shrimp, your choice of Italian meats, olives, cheese, and fresh herbs around the tomatoes. Leave room on the board for the bread.
  6. When the bread is ready, add it where you have made room on the board, and scatter some across the salad. If you have extra toasted bread, simply place it in its own basket or bowl next to the salad. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Cooking Tip: You will likely have more than you need of the sun-dried tomato dressing. If so, you can store it in a dry air-tight container in the fridge for two-three days or so. It's best if you use it up as soon as you can. Because it's nice and thick, you can use it as a spread for sandwiches as well as a dip for veggies.
  • Recommended for this Recipe: Our Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives!)
  • Visit our store to browse our spices, olive oils and bundles!
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Salad, Shrimp Salad, Shrimp and Zucchini, Panzanella Salad, Sun-dried Tomato Dressing

Similar recipes to try:

Easy Antipasto Skewers

Israeli Couscous Salad

Mediterranean Grilled Zucchini Boats

Shrimp and Zucchini Panzanella Salad Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. An all-star Italian Panzenalla Salad with heirloom tomatoes, shrimp, roasted zucchini and more! A thick garlicy sun-dried tomato dressing served on the side! The perfect appetizer for a crowd! See more at TheMediterraneanDish.com

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. I made your stuffed eggplant last week and boy was it delicious; I've been asked for an encore!