Panzanella Salad with “Wild Wonders” tomatoes is rustic, hearty, full of fresh flavors and super simple to make.
I could eat a Panzanella Salad with “Wild Wonders” tomatoes everyday and never get sick of it…which is weird, because I used to despise tomatoes as a child. I use the term, “Wild Wonders” metaphorically because not only are they a large variety of tomatoes, but its truly a “Wild Wonder” that I love tomatoes as an adult when I couldn’t stand them as a child. A tomato could hardly be in my vicinity because it made my stomach hurt. Maybe it was the texture of the thin skin that encompassed a very slightly slimy, watery, seedy goop that “popped” in your mouth when bit down upon. Maybe that was the turn-off. It’s interesting how something can be described in such a derogatory way based on opinion. Fast forward to today, my taste buds have “grown up” and I have learned to appreciate the simplicity, yet complex varietal flavors of tomatoes. Intrigued and aghast to say the least, at the variety, tomatoes come in so many different shapes, colors, tastes, smells and textures. Eating a tomato is like biting into a little piece of sunshine. That just seems so much more pleasant a description!
A Panzanella Salad is like a “bowl of sunshine”. If you love tomatoes, you know exactly what I mean. “Wild Wonders” tomatoes are comprised of heirloom tomatoes. If you’ve never seen an heirloom tomato, they typically have unusual shapes and not one tomato resembles the next. They are unique and brilliant in color, have a vast range of flavor profiles and come in different sizes. “Wild Wonders” can be as small as a cherry tomato but smaller than a Roma tomato. What makes them perfect for a Panzanella Salad is the simplicity of cutting them in half and tossing with the other ingredients.
(For a little education on the heirloom tomato: It is seed that has come from a particular area or region and has been generationally handed down over the years. Heirlooms are how God intended vegetables to be…pollinated by birds, insects and wind without being interfered with by people. Typically the seed is at least 50 years old and has reproduced and maintained its characteristics over the years. Heirloom tomatoes are not genetically modified.)
My recipe for Panzanella Salad includes “Wild Wonders” tomatoes from Sunset Grown. (You can read more about the company and their practices here.) I also use fresh organically grown sweet basil, my Herbal Fusion croutons, incredibly delicious, Tangerine Balsamic vinegar from The Sacred Olive and an organic extra virgin olive oil. (The owner of The Sacred Olive also recommends the Herbs de Provence olive oil!) As a mutual tomato lover, I hope this Panzanella Salad is a reoccurring favorite for you and your family to enjoy for years to come!
- 3 cups Wild Wonders tomatoes halved
- 8 organic sweet basil leaves cut in ribbons (chiffonade)
- 2 tbsp. organic extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 1-1/2 cups Herbal Fusion croutons
- Drizzle Tangerine balsamic vinegar
- Toss the tomatoes, basil, oil, sea salt and pepper together in a bowl.
- Right before serving, toss in croutons.
- Drizzle balsamic vinegar over each individual portion right at serving.
- Serve immediately.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt butter in large sauté pan on low to medium heat.
- Add Herbal Fusion and mix until well coated in butter stirring constantly. About 30 seconds. Be sure not to burn the herbs.
- Add in bread and toss several times to coat.
- Add in salt and pepper. Toss again.
- On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, spread out croutons evenly.
- Bake in oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
- Remove and let cool.
- Store in an airtight container in refrigerator until ready to use.