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Panzanella Salad with Arugula & Mom's Farmhouse French Dressing

Panzanella Salad with Arugula & Mom's Farmhouse French Dressing

A traditional Italian summer salad, popular in Tuscany features toasted bread, fresh tomatoes and onions. Our version offers a French twist.

We love the high proportion of toasty bread (obviously) and of course, that it's a delicious way to use up that lingering loaf sitting on your counter. Shake up your summer dinner routine and give this simple salad a try this weekend. It would pair wonderfully with the Roasted Beet Ravioli from our previous post! This panzanella salad recipe borrows lots of French flavors, including my mom's well-loved Farmhouse French Dressing.

Panzanella Salad with Mom's Farmhouse French Dressing

Panzanella Salad with Arugala & Mom's Farmhouse French Dressing

Ingredients for the Dressing:
  • 3/4 cup of neutral oil, like Safflower or Canola Oil
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin first-pressed Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup of White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of Sweet Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of Dry Mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried Tarragon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of fresh ground Black Pepper
  • 2 cloves Garlic, whole or smashed with the side of your chef's knife blade

Ingredients for the Salad:

  • 1 fresh Baguette, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 4 Roma Tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 Red Onion, sliced
  • 3 cups Arugula
  • 4 oz Fresh Mozzarella, cut into cubes.
  • 1/4 cup Basil, torn
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Note: You can really amp up the French flavors and substitute Chevre for the Mozzarella and tarragon for the basil. Totally your call.


1. Make the dressing: add the oils and vinegar and whisk together. Then add all of the dry ingredients, paprika, dry mustard, tarragon, sugar, salt, pepper and whisk or shake till emulsified. Then add the garlic. Set aside.

2. Toast the bread: in a large frying pan heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the baguette pieces and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.

3. Assemble the salad: toss together the baguette pieces, tomatoes, red onion, arugula, basil, mozzarella and dressing. Let sit 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Could something so delicious get any easier? Nope.


OXO Large Salad Dressing ShakerIf you fall in love, as many before you have with Mom's French Dressing, there's a quicker and better way to make it. (It actually works for all salad dressings, I couldn't live without mine!)

First, get yourself an OXO Large Salad Dressing Shaker and ditch the whisk, the bowl, the measuring cups and all of the clean-up. Make, store and serve your salad dressing all in one!

1. Pour the neutral oil into the OXO Large Dressing Shaker to the 3/4 cup mark.

2. Pour olive oil in till you reach the 1 cup mark.

3. Pour in the white wine vinegar to the 1-1/4 cup mark

3. Now add all the dry ingredients:

  • 1 TBSP of Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of each: salt, sweet paprika, and dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried tarragon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of pepper

4. Add the two cloves of garlic, whole or smashed

5. Screw on the Shaker's top, making sure the pour spout is closed, and shake until emulsified. Store the dressing in the fridge. And, enjoy our family's favorite salad dressing!

This dressing is good on most anything and it makes a great marinade. Try a little on your plate the next time you make a steak, simply dee-lish!

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Previous article Cheesy Zucchini Tots (for better afternoon snacks!)
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