Vegan Heritage Tomato Panzanella

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Vegan Heritage Tomato Panzanella

Transport your tastebuds to Tuscany (and make something delicious from your stale bread!) with this tasty tomato panzanella.

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Panzanella is a chopped salad originating from Tuscany and Umbria. It uses stale bread, which soaks in the flavourful juices from the salad.

This recipe for vegan heritage tomato panzanella gets a pop of sweet but sharp flavour from the heritage tomatoes, which take centre stage in a bed of grilled peppers and red onion. However, panzanella can include a variety of veggies, including cucumbers.

Why use stale bread for panzanella?

Stale and dry bread is essential for a good panzanella, so don’t skip out on step one! Even if you have to use fresh bread, make sure you give it plenty of time to dry out or it will turn to mush in the tomato juice and dressing.

You can speed up the process, or even give yourself an extra crunchy bread for the salad, by lightly toasting the chopped ciabatta.

What are heritage tomatoes?

Heritage, or heirloom, is a term which describes a variety of tomato that is, in short, old. The seeds for these varieties have been passed down for generations.

Heritage tomatoes can vary greatly in size, shape, and even colour. They also have an intense flavour that can differ greatly from more modern varieties of tomato.

Depending on which heritage tomatoes you can buy, panzanella can look and taste very different, but it will always be beautiful and full of flavour.

Prep Time: 30 minutes (plus drying and soaking time for the bread)

Servings: 4

Servings: 4




(Servings: 4)

  • For the salad
  • 0.125 0.125 ciabatta loaf, preferably stale, cut into chunks
  • 100 100 g mixed heritage tomatoes, ideally a mix of size and colours
  • 0.125 0.125 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 0.25 0.25 red pepper, deseeded and halved
  • 0.25 0.25 yellow pepper, deseeded and halved
  • 0.25 0.25 red onion, finely sliced
  • 0.25 0.25 small bunch fresh basil, leaves only
  • For the dressing
  • 0.25 0.25 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 15 15 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 0.5 0.5 tbsp capers, drained
  • 0.25 0.25 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 0.25 0.25 tsp sugar
  • 0.25 0.25 heaped tsp sea salt flakes
  • black pepper, to taste


  1. Cut the bread into chunks and set aside, uncovered, to dry out.
  2. Cut the tomatoes into similar size chunks and place them in a sieve over the sink. Sprinkle with the salt and leave to drain.
  3. Preheat the grill to high and place the peppers, cut side down, on a rack. Grill until the skins have blistered and turned black. Set aside to cool.
  4. To make the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together and check the seasoning.
  5. Place the drained tomatoes (reserve the juices), bread cubes, basil and onion in a large, shallow bowl. Peel and slice the roasted pepper and add this to the bowl.
  6. Whisk the tomato juices into the dressing and pour over the salad. Toss everything well together so that the bread starts to soften slightly in the juices. Leave to stand for a further 15 minutes before serving.

Get another taste of Tuscany with this delicious Mediterranean soup.

Written by

Vegan Food & Living

Vegan Food & Living is a magazine dedicated to celebrating the vegan lifestyle. Every issue is packed with 75 tasty recipes, plus informative features.

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