This fresh tasting panzanella salad recipe is filled with fresh ripe peach slices and cubes of feta cheese. A perfect summer salad that will go down well with everyone!
Fresh fruit is always fun to add to a salad, especially a summer salad. Strawberries, mango, melon and of course peaches are all acceptable types of fruit to add and will easily take on all of the other flavors. Check out my balsamic chicken salad with fresh strawberries and this cantaloupe and shrimp salad for two easy ways to beat the summer heat and feed a starving family.
Because the peaches are so sweet and juicy at this time of the year, cutting the flavor with some salt is a good idea. But don’t use table salt, the feta cheese holds enough salt to do this and the end flavor is amazing! Panzanella salad is famous for it’s chunky bread croutons and this one dosen’t disappoint. Don’t settle for any old croutons and try and make your own. They easy so good, it’s hard to stop snacking on them while you make the salad!
what do I need to make this panzanella salad recipe?
- Arugula- You could also use any simple mixed green if you don’t like the taste of arugula.
- Peaches- Yellow or white will work although I always find yellow to be more juicy and sweeter, so those are my first choice.
- Feta- Plain and whole so you can crumble it yourself, I love big chunks mixed in with smaller chunks.
- Croutons- Making your own is easy and you can follow the link to my recipe for homemade croutons above. If you are pushed for time though store bought will work but a Panzanella is built on big chunks of toasted bread.
- Fresh basil- Lots of it!
- Tomatoes- I prefer vine ripened or roma tomatoes which will be more flavorful than regular big beefsteak tomatoes. Heirloom’s are also a great choice which is what I used for my original Panzanella salad.
- The dressing is a simple balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper vinaigrette.
Tips for making the best peach panzanella salad recipe
- Don’t build the salad until the very last minute, summer heat and salad dressing will wilt the arugula quickly and although it’ll still taste amazing, we don’t want to serve up any sad salads here!
- Make the dressing ahead of time. I like to add the dressing ingredients to a mason jar or wells sealed plastic container and shake it like crazy. Easy, no fuss and little mess.
- Make sure the peaches are ripe but still have a little firmness to them when slightly squeezed. Don’t buy any with bruises on them either.
- Feel free to add some chopped chicken to this salad for an extra protein kick.
- Serve as an appetizer or double up for a really hearty main course
Use fresh ingredients that are preferably in season. Fresh fruit and vegetables are all worthy of being in a good salad, don’t overthink it.
Not really as everything will be getting tossed anyway. I do like to keep some of the ingredients aside and sprinkle over the top of my salads. This way anyone looking at it can get a better idea of what’s actually in the salad.
Yes, another great cheese just like feta is quest fresco or even goat cheese.
Apples, pears, plums and most of the other stone fruits would be perfect to use.
Definitely yes and it’s so tasty you’ll wonder why you don’t eat it a few times a week!
more of my favorite salads!
Peach and Feta Panzanella Salad Recipe
For the croutons
- 1 french bread loaf or baguette
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
For the dressing
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- salt and pepper
For the salad
- 5 oz arugula
- 1 large ripe peach
- 8 oz feta cheese
- 4 ripe tomatoes
- fresh basil
- salt and black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut ir tear the 1/2 to 3/4 of the bread into bite sized chunks and place on the sheet pan.
- Drizzle with the olive oil and season with some salt and black pepper.
- Bake in the oven for 12-14 minutes until golden brown.
- Add the dressing ingredients to a jar or container with a tight fitting lid, seal and shake well.
- To build the salad, place the arugula into a large bowl.
- Slice the peach into thin slices and add to the arugula.
- Crumble the feta and add to the bowl, saving about a half cup to garnish the finished salad.
- Slice the tomatoes into wedges and discard the seeds, chop into chunks and add to the salad.
- Add as many croutons as you prefer and drizzle with some of the dressing.
- Gently toss the salad and add more dressing if preferred.
- Transfer the salad to a platter or clean salad bowl and sprinkle with the remaining feta and a large bunch of ripped basil over the top of the salad
- Serve at once.
This looks like a great recipe and I’m anxious to give it a try with this year’s peaches. Just wanting to make sure the dressing proportions are correct. 1/4c. balsamic vinegar to 1c. extra virgin olive oil?
Yes, but you don’t need to use all of it