Tomato and Peach Panzanella Recipe

Tomato and peach panzanella may sound unlikely but it’s gonna knock your socks off. Or, if you’re not wearing socks this time of year, then it’ll knock your flip-flops off. Guaranteed.

Tomato and Peach Panzanella Recipe

Tomato and peach panzanella showboats the best produce of the summer in an almost effortless salad that tastes infinitely more complex than the sum of its parts. Ripe summer tomatoes and succulent peaches are tossed together with toasted, chewy bread and finished with a simple red wine vinaigrette and gobs of basil. Ah, summer. What’s not to love?–Angie Zoobkoff

Why Would You Combine Tomatoes And Peaches?

Tomato and peach panzanella? If you’re looking at this recipe with skepticism, rest assured that, in the words of the creator of this salad, it’s “a seemingly strange combination, but one on which you’ll soon be hooked. I always think that if two foods are growing and ripe at the same time, they must be a good match.” She speaks truth.

Tomato and Peach Panzanella Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 1 French baguette, torn into 1-inch (25-mm) chunks (about 6 cups or 300 g)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (118 ml)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (3 g), plus more as needed
  • 3 large tomatoes or 3 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced (about 1 pound or 450 g)
  • 3 large peaches, pitted and sliced (about 1 pound or 450 g)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (45 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (about 4 ounces or 115 g)
  • 1/2 cup torn, chopped or thinly sliced fresh basil (about 1/2 ounce or 14 g)

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • 2. In a large bowl, toss the bread chunks with 2 tablespoons olive oil and then sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place the bread on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until evenly toasted, stirring once or twice, 10 to 20 minutes.
  • 3. In a large bowl, gently toss the tomatoes and peaches with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Transfer the tomato and peach mixture to a colander and place it over the bowl you used to toss the tomatoes and peaches. Let the tomatoes and peaches drain while the bread toasts.
  • 4. Lift the colander of tomatoes and peaches out of the bowl and set it aside. You should have some juices in the bottom of the bowl. Whisk 6 tablespoons oil, the vinegar, and the black pepper into the tomato and peach juices. Add the toasted bread, toss to coat, and let it soak, tossing occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  • 5. Add the tomatoes and peaches, red onion, and basil to the bowl with the bread and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Angie Zoobkoff

Jun 17, 2017

I have to admit that I've never met a panzanella that I didn't love, but this tomato and peach panzanella was truly exceptional. The combination of bread, peaches, tomato, and onion tossed in the tangy vinaigrette and brightened with fresh basil was completely irresistible. This is going to be a summer favorite.

Testers Choice
Deborah Wallace

Jun 17, 2017

This tomato and peach panzanella is a really lovely salad with great contrasting flavors that work really, really well together. The red onions offer a sharp contrast to the sweet peaches and cherry tomatoes and result in a whole that really is greater than the sum of its parts. I used a gluten-free bread instead of a regular baguette and it took only 12 minutes for the bread to get thoroughly and evenly browned. Less time would have been fine, but since gluten-free bread can be crumbly, the more brown and crisp, the better it was able to absorb the dressing. (If GF bread is a necessity for this salad, find the best bakery or supermarket version available. Mine came from a local GF bakery and had the texture and interior crumb of a yeast bread. Some GF loaves, while decent, don't provide the right kind of crumb or structure for this recipe.) I think that there was a bit too much bread for the amount of dressing. But it was a great salad that would be a real crowd pleaser on a hot, summer night.

Testers Choice
Helen Doberstein

Jun 17, 2017

This tomato and peach panzanella recipe is all about freshness. It was tart and sweet, filling, and it tasted like “more,” as my tasters put it. I used a whole grain baguette. The juices drained from the tomatoes and peaches made a delightful dressing for this salad. It was delicious and a great addition to a weeknight meal. Keeping in mind how good my tasters thought this salad was now, I must let you know that peaches and tomatoes are not in season yet and my own tomatoes are just starting to come in. I can hardly wait for the next few weeks to pass so I can make this salad again and again with local fruit and vegetables in season, although it was pretty awesome with what we could get now.

Testers Choice
Vanessa McNiven

Jun 17, 2017

After a few beautifully sunny weeks, I managed to choose a day with wall-to-wall rain and high winds to make this recipe. Not quite the perfect dinner outside on the terrace, but this salad did bring sunshine into an otherwise gray day. This is one of those simple recipes that’s greater than the sum of its parts. There's no real cooking involved, which would be a bonus on a hot day—the only reason the oven is on is to toast the bread cubes. This step is well worth following, however, as it resulted in lovely, chewy croutons that provided nice texture to the dish. The bread could have been reduced to achieve a better balance of ingredients, but we loved the chewiness of it so we didn't mind the salad being rather bread-heavy. Try and choose non-cling peaches to make them easy to slice. I peeled mine, which meant no chewy bits of skin, but I didn't go so far as to skin the tomatoes. Look for really ripe, red tomatoes, as this dish is all about the quality of the ingredients. I used large vine tomatoes which gave out lots of juice when salted with the peaches. The only addition I made was to add a touch of honey to the dressing as it was a little bitter—I think this came down to my choice of olive oil. I should have used the posh salad stuff rather than my everyday extra-virgin olive oil. The basil was delicious, too. This recipe serves 6 generously as a side dish. I served it with grilled mackerel, roasted asparagus, and a glass of French rosé. Wonderful!

Testers Choice
Carol Hays

Jun 17, 2017

This tomato and peach panzanella was fairly easy to make and tastes great! It's a perfect side dish for summer events, barbecues, trips, etc. It uses the great product from summer: peaches and tomatoes. The total time was about 1 hour and 30 minutes. This involved the time chopping the tomatoes, peaches, red onion, and French bread and then the additional time to let the peaches and tomatoes sit in the colander to let the juices run out. I used a 16.5 oz. (467 g) package of grape tomatoes which varied in size from less than 1/4 inch to almost 1 inch in size. They had a wonderful variety of colors from yellow to orange to red and even red with green mottle, which gave the salad a wonderful presentation. I cut each grape tomato in half to allow the juices to run. I used 3 peaches of similar size. I only had to toast the bread in my oven for 10 minutes. After the first 5 minutes, I found that the bread was already toasted, so I turned it over and toasted it for another 5 minutes. I only got 1/8 cup liquid from the tomatoes and peaches. At first, I barely had any liquid, so I let the tomatoes and peaches sit for about an hour and ended up with 1/8 cup.

Testers Choice
Mario Pileggi

Jun 17, 2017

As a big fan of classic panzanella, I was a little hesitant at the idea of peaches making their way into this salad, but I must confess that after a few bites, it was a welcome addition and really brought summer flare to the dish. The sweetness of the peaches and tomatoes played nicely off each other and was balanced by the bite of the red onion and the basil rounded everything out. I traditionally just leave the bread pieces out for a day to get stale but I followed the recipe's directions and toasted them up which worked out well and gave it some nice caramelization. I would be interested in seeing how grilling the peaches would work with this recipe. This panzanalla turned out to be a nice summer riff on a classic and has made me wonder what other fruits would make a unique addition to this salad.

Testers Choice
Barb P.

Jun 17, 2017

Sometimes a recipe pops up in the right place at the right time. Just after I received my assignment for our upcoming church picnic (salad? really?), this recipe for panzanella popped up. As it happens, it perfectly met my need. The fact that the picnic isn't until later in the summer when local tomatoes and peaches are available makes it even better. The panzanella is easy to cook and provides both an attractive dish and one that has a taste-pleasing combination of flavors. For home use, the carnivores can be made happy and it can be changed to a main dish with the addition of a little grilled chicken.

Testers Choice
N. Olson

Jun 17, 2017

I halved the recipe and that turned out fine.
I had some larger pieces of bread than the 1-inch chunks suggested and that didn't work out that well. Smaller pieces with more surface for the bread to absorb vinaigrette worked better. I ended up cutting some of them. I used white peaches (they could have been a bit riper) and Campari tomatoes. This recipe calls for several bowls, but I found I could keep using the same one until the bread soaking.
I found the panzanella to be a bit heavy on the red onion. Used a quarter of a medium sized onion. Others might like it this oniony. Would need to serve along with something else (grilled fish?) to make a meal. I found the panzanella held up for about 2 hours before the bread got too soggy. I definitely want to make this and serve it right away. It's not a make-ahead dish.

Testers Choice
Chiyo Ueyama

Jun 17, 2017

Tomatoes, peaches, and red onion? Huh, I’ll be darned! The unique medley of ingredients makes this salad the delicious epitome of summer. The juicy peaches are refreshing, and the little bite of the red onion is quite nice with them. And the fragrant basil, as always, is absolutely lovely. The amount of vinegar is spot on, too, and doesn't interfere with the other flavors. The toasted bread, which makes this salad a very satisfying meatless meal, maintains good texture—crunchy and slightly chewy—and doesn't get soggy after 10 minutes of soaking in the dressing. To make the salad even more visually pleasing, I used three types of cherry tomatoes: yellow pear, black pearl, and grape.

Comments
Comments
  1. Mary E. Gallagher says:

    Too bad 2017 is not going to be a peach year in South Carolina!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Too bad, indeed, Mary! Although certainly you can get your hands on some other peaches…?

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