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This Stone Fruit Panzanella Salad recipe is made with bread, olive oil and stone fruit for a fun and summery take on a traditional panzanella salad.
Say hello to the only way I’ll be eating stone fruit this summer: stone fruit panzanella salad.
Yes, peaches and plums and nectarines are delicious on their own, but they’re way better when paired with bread and cheese (as most things are….). The concept of a panzanella salad is genius, really. It basically says: why eat lettuce when you can eat bread? I mean, all we really want when eating salad is bread, right?
I love all stone fruit equally (this peach crisp is one of my favorites), and I feel like they're extra delicious because they're only available a few months out of the year. Yes, all the berries taste so much better in the summer, but you can still buy them in the winter if you want. But stone fruit? I’m fairly certain at most grocery stores, stone fruit is only available May through August or September, which is why I try to eat peaches and nectarines as often as possible this time of year.
Bread - Opt for sourdough bread or ciabatta if possible.
Stone fruit - A mix of peaches, nectarine, apricot, and cherries works wonderfully, but feel free to customize it to your liking if one of those fruits isn't appealing to you.
Tomatoes - Any variety; I like using grape tomatoes because they're easy to cut, but heirloom tomatoes or even tomatoes from your garden, sliced into bite-size pieces, would work wonderfully.
Basil - Fresh basil, always!
Cheese - Fresh mozzarella or burrata cheese is the way to go.
Dressing - The dressing is more like a vinaigrette made with extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, and a little salt.
Step 1: Slice the fruit. Slice the peaches, nectarine, apricot, and tomatoes. Then, pit the cherries and slice them in half. Place all of the fruit into a large bowl and set aside.
Step 2: Toast the bread. Next, heat your broiler on HIGH. Tear the bread into bite-size pieces, them place them onto a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into the oven and broil the bread for 6 minutes, flipping halfway through until it's toasted and golden brown. Transfer the bread to the bowl with the fruit.
Step 3: Make the vinaigrette. While the bread is toasting, add the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, and salt to a jar with a lid (I used a mason jar). Secure the lid, then shake until the ingredients are combined.
Step 4: Assemble. Pour the dressing over the fruit and bread and gently toss. Then, transfer to a serving platter. Add the basil and mozzarella on top, along with a sprinkle of black pepper and enjoy!
Tips and FAQS
- Bulk up this salad by adding shredded chicken for some protein, sliced avocado, mixed greens, and/or sunflower seeds.
- Use a rustic bread, which will absorb the dressing better because it's thicker, rather than using whole wheat or sliced white bread.
- If you don't want to tear the bread, slice it into 1" cubes instead.
Can panzanella be made ahead of time?
Unfortunately no.. In order for the bread to stay crunchy and not get soggy, this salad is best served fresh. You can make the vinaigrette ahead of time though, and store it in a sealed jar in the fridge until you're ready to use it.
What should I serve alongside this salad?
This salad can be served as a side, or eaten by itself for lunch. If you'd like to serve it as a side at dinnertime, serve it alongside:
- Baked Salmon Fillet
- Eggplant Parmesan
- Creamy Garlic Chicken
- Baked Parmesan Chicken
- Instant Pot Vegetable Soup
- Chicken Sausage Soup
As mentioned above, this salad is best served fresh so the bread stays in tact.
Refrigerator: If you don't mind soggy bread, store the salad in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
More summer salads
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Stone Fruit Panzanella Salad
- 3 cups sourdough torn into bite-size pieces (see notes for other bread options)
- 2 peaches
- 1 nectarine sliced
- 1 apricot chopped
- ½ cup cherries pitted, then sliced
- ½ cup grape tomatoes sliced
- ¼ cup fresh basil thinly sliced
- 4 oz. fresh mozzarella pearls or a ball of mozzarella that's been torn into bite-size pieces
- Place the peaches, nectarine, apricot, and cherries in a large bowl and set aside.
- Next, set your broiler on HIGH. Place the bread on a baking sheet then place it in the oven and broil it for 6 minutes, flipping halfway through until the bread is toasted; transfer it to the bowl with the fruit.
- While the bread is toasting, make the vinaigrette: add the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper to a jar with a lid. Secure the lid then shake to combine all of the ingredients.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the fruit and bread and gently toss to combine. Pour everything out onto a serving platter, then top with the basil and mozzarella. Enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in June 2019. It was updated with new text and photos in July 2023.