Panzanella [alla Norma]

Yields: 4 portions

Preparation time: 15'

Waiting time: 4h


  • [OPTIONAL] Blender
  • Sieve or colander


  • 250g of slightly stale bread
  • 50ml water (depends on how watery your tomatoes are)
  • 1 table spoon of wine vinegar (not balsamic)
  • 0.5 red onion
  • 0.5 red bell pepper
  • 1 🐟anchovy🐟 (or a teaspoon of mushroom paste for the 🌿vegan🌿 variant)
  • 250g tomatoes (best if “Cuori di bue” variety)
  • 1 sprig of basil
  • 60ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • [OPTIONAL] taggiasche olives
  • [OPTIONAL] stir-fried eggplants


  • Put on a kettle with ~2l of water
  • Finely dice onion
  • Put the diced onion in a sieve and pour the boiling water on top (this will take away part of the smell)
  • Finely dice bell peppers (~3mm side)
  • Coarsely dice tomatoes (~1cm side), keep the juice
  • [OPTIONAL] Remove the crust from the bread and blend it
  • Coarsely dice the rest of the bread
  • Mix the anchovy with some oil and break it down to a paste
  • Break the basil with your hands in small stripes, try to squeeze it while doing so
  • Mix everything (except for the eggplants)
  • Put in the fridge to rest (suggested 4h minimum)
  • [OPTIONAL] When serving add the eggplants on top

Panzanella is a good way to put your stale bread to good use: nothing goes to waste!

The two optional ingredients are not from the original recipe, but they are a twist I added.

Keep in mind that ingredients and quantities are just a suggestion: feel free to customize this recipe as much as you like!

↓ Here are the recipes for some of the ingredients listed above ↓

Mushroom Paste


  • Blender


  • any edible mushrooms, I use champignon
  • enough seed oil to blend the mushrooms


  • Blend the mushrooms with the oil
  • Put in a pan and cook on medium-low heat
  • Keep cooking and stirring until most of the water is evaporated

This paste has a high content of umami, which can be used to enhance and prolong a taste.

It can be easily stored in the freezer in an ice-cube mold for later use.

Category: Starter

Origin: Toscana

Tags: Stale breadVegan