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Everything Bagel Panzanella Salad

Tastes like summer.

Panzanella salad with everything bagel croutons, heirloom tomatoes, red onion, capers, and basil in a white bowl.

Heirloom tomatoes and well-toasted everything bagels are two of life’s greatest joys, but when you toss them together in one bowl, it’s pure magic. Here chunks of juicy fresh tomato combine with fresh everything bagel croutons for a fresh take on the classic panzanella salad that hits every summertime flavor note.


High-quality ingredients really matter here. Use the freshest, ripest tomatoes you can find—I highly recommend seeking out a farmer’s market or local vegetable stand!—and go to an actual bagel store or bakery to buy bagels. Sure, plastic-wrapped supermarket bagels will work in a pinch, and slightly smaller tomatoes-on-the-vine from the store’s produce department will be okay, but making the extra effort to get the best quality produce and bread pays off big time here.

Everything bagel croutons on a baking sheet.

Panzanella is traditional made with stale bread, but I side with Kenji Lopez-Alt and several others who advocate that it’s tastiest made with from fresh oven-toasted bread. You want those bagel croutons to be golden-brown and crisp all the way through—this means they’re perfectly primed to soak up all those tomato juices.


Aside from perfectly toasted croutons and chunks of beautifully ripened tomato, the dressing is the most important part of this salad. It’s not complicated—a little olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, finely chopped garlic, and little salt whisked together in a bowl—but adding the tomato juice from the drained salted tomatoes transforms it into something really special. Take time to taste and adjust the seasoning before tossing with the salad: this dressing permeates every part of the salad, so it’s important that you’ve got it just where you want it.

Panzanella salad with everything bagel croutons, heirloom tomatoes, red onion, capers, and basil on a plate with a fork.

You haven’t summered until you’ve had an everything bagel panzanella salad. So find your nearest farmer’s market and start shopping.


Enjoy!

 

Everything Bagel Panzanella Salad

(Serves 4-6)



12 oz. everything bagels (2 large), sliced in half and then cut into 1” pieces

½ c extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 lb. heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1” pieces

2 ¼ tsp. kosher salt, divided

2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

¼ red onion, thinly sliced

¼ cup capers

¼ cup fresh basil


Special equipment: baking sheet, sieve or colander.


Method


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss together everything bagels and ¼ cup olive oil. Spread onto a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisp and light golden, 8-12 minutes. Remove from oven and season with ¼ teaspoon salt. Let cool.


Heirloom tomatoes on a cutting board with a knife.

Meanwhile, in a large colander set over the large mixing bowl, toss together tomatoes and 1 ½ teaspoons salt. Let sit 5-10 minutes.


In a small bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, mustard, garlic, and remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Add two tablespoons tomato juice from the bottom of the large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly, stream in remaining ¼ cup olive oil.


Remove colander from large bowl and discard remaining tomato juice or save for another use. Add drained tomatoes to bowl with red onion, capers, and dressing, and toss lightly to combine. Add everything bagel croutons and basil and toss just until incorporated.


Serve immediately.


Panzanella salad with everything bagel croutons, heirloom tomatoes, red onion, capers, and basil in a white bowl.

Originally published July 30, 2023.

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