Panzanella Salad with Shrimp
Our version of the classic Tuscan salad recipe made with dressing soaked bread, fresh heirloom tomatoes, sweet chili peppers, seared shrimp and more. Panzanella for dinner, or a sharable brunch.
Once again, this recipe was inspired by the AWESOMENESS that is coming out of our garden right now. We have tomatoes and peppers going BAZONKERS at the moment and there really isn’t much better in life than fresh produce from your own backyard. Fresh Veggies = Happiness. We’re growing a number of different heirloom tomatoes and everytime I pick one, I want to eat it right there, so I have to resist. They’re incredibly juicy and so much better than what I can get from the store at the moment. I picked a couple Kellog’s Breakfast Tomatoes as well as some Black Krim and a number of smaller globe tomatoes and they were begging to be a salad, so that it what they have become.
Hence! The Panzanella Salad with Shrimp. Delicious.
Not to mention the chili peppers, a truly essential addition to this recipe. The tomatoes shine through here, as they are the fresh base, but the peppers add a sweet and spicy bite that we love. I used green jalapeno peppers and a red Italian Marconi pepper, which isn’t very spicy but has a sweet quality to it. It’s ideal for an Italian application for obvious reasons, and yes, Panzanella is an uber-Italian meal. It is a Tuscan recipe, traditionally made with bread soaked in dressing, anchovies and chopped vegetables. This is our particular version that focuses on the tomatoes and peppers, but also brings in seared shrimp to round it out, as I wanted to serve it as a dinner for the two of us. We could barely finish it!
This would work for a brunch for a small group of people as well. We have lightly soaked toasted bread, 3 different types of tomatoes, chili peppers, shrimp, onion, and one our very favorite cured meats – soppressata. Oh my! The first time we ever tried soppressata was together and we looked at each other with wide-eyed wonder. How have we never tried this before? And there began our love affair with soppressata. And now with panzanella, too! This was crazy good. We hope you like it, too. Enjoy your panzanella salad!
- 4 slices sour dough or Italian bread
- 2 medium heirloom tomatoes
- 2 medium sized sweet or mildly spicy chili peppers – I used Marconi and jalapeno peppers
- ½ pound shrimp peeled and deveined
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 10-12 large cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- ½ red onion sliced
- 4 ounces soppressata sliced
- Juice from half a lemon
- ¼ cup olive oil + a splash extra for the peppers
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- Torn basil leaves
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Cube the bread and spread it over a baking sheet. Bake the bread about 15 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Remove from heat.
Slice the heirloom tomatoes and add spread them over a large serving dish to serve as your base.
Heat a pan to medium heat and add a splash of olive oil. Slice the chili peppers into rings and cook them about 4 minutes. Set into a large bowl.
Season the shrimp with salt, pepper and chili powder. Cook them in the same pan about 1-2 minutes per side, until cooked through. Set into the large bowl.
To the large bowl, add cherry tomatoes, onion, soppressata and toasted bread cubes.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together lemon juice with olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour vinaigrette into the large bowl and toss everything. Make sure everything is nice and coated. The bread will absorb the liquid.
Arrange over the top of the sliced heirloom tomatoes.
Top with torn basil and Parmesan cheese.