If you want to serve this dish to a vegan, feel free to omit the diced cheese or replace it with tofu.
Panzanella can be served as a single dish or as an appetizer. You can combine it with both cold cuts or fish.
Calasole Vermentino Maremma Toscana DOC, Bianco di Pitigliano (tuscan white wine) or Ortrugo (DOC variety from Piacenza's hills).
If you prefer, you can replace the mild Auricchio with the Piccante one, for a stronger taste.
The Panzanella is a typical dish from central Italy, very famous in Tuscany, Marche and Lazio. The original recipe calls for stale bread, red onion, basil, olive oil, vinegar and salt, but over time some more ingredients, such as fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, have made it onto the list of the church's recipe components. Depending on the region, there are different ways of making Panzanella: in Tuscany, for instance, the bread is left in a receptacle with water until well soaked, then it gets squeezed, broken into pieces and mixed with the other ingredients. In the regions of Marche and Lazio, alternatively, slices of bread are soaked but not crumbled, and they are topped with the other ingredients, as if it were a bruschetta. A very fresh dish, ideal in summer, when the ingredients are in season. Try coupling it with an homemade gazpacho, like we suggest in the recipe, for an extra taste!