Recipe – Summer on a Plate Panzanella

Perfect for picnics or as a take along for a summer barbecue, this Panzanella brings joy to anyone I serve it to. Packed with fresh and simple ingredients, it brings a taste of summer to any occasion.

With all the lovely sunny days we’ve been having lately I’ve wanted to maximise outside playtime with Miss EEE and minimise hours stuck in a hot kitchen. I love to cook but I also love the sunshine and being outdoors. Plus in the warm weather I sometimes don’t want a big heavy dinner.

My take on a Panzanella salad is yummy on its own for a picnic or packed lunch for work (this is a real treat in the middle of the day l, between meetings, when you’re stuck in a stuffy office!). I also love to pair it with some crisp salad leaves, cured meat and glass of chilled white wine for full on holiday vibes.

Getting your hands in there and mixing it all up without a spoon is very grounding. It proves that small mindful moments can be built into the everyday. Take the time to focus on the smell of the basil and the feel of the dried out bread in contrast to the squidgy ripe tomatoes.


Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: None but 30 mins resting

Serves: 4 as a side dish or light lunch


  • 400g Crusty Bread or 4 Crusty Rolls (a little bit stale is better)
  • 500g of Ripe Tomatoes (whatever type you fancy, even a mix if you want!)
  • Large Handful of Fresh Basil
  • 5 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Capers (rinsed)
  • Salt and Pepper to Season
  • 80g of Pitted Green Olives
  • 1 Ball of Mozzarella
  • 1 Avocado
  • Sprinkle of Sunflower Seeds to garnish


    Tear up the bread into equal size bits and set aside. As a rough idea, you’re looking for pieces about 2cm by 2cm, but nothing in this recipe needs to be precise so don’t stress about it!
    If using cherry tomatoes then quarter them (especially if sharing this with your baby). If using large tomatoes roughly chop them into chunks.
    Give the tomatoes a bit of a squeeze with your hands to release some of the juice and seeds. Season with salt and pepper but you may want to leave this out for BLW!
    Tear up the fresh basil and add in with the tomatoes.
    Combine the Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Red Wine Vinegar and Capers with the Tomatoes and Basil mix then drop the bread in.
    Tear off pieces of Mozzarella and add then turn it all over with your hands. Give it a couple of squishes as you turn it.
    If giving this salad to your baby cut the Olives into quarters. Add the Olives to the salad.
    At this stage I like to set aside the mixture to soak into the bread for 30 mins. Other people don’t like that and you might want to just finish preparing and serve immediately!
    When ready to serve, top with chopped avo and sunflower seeds. Enjoy!

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Author: Charlotte Earwicker

A mentally illuminated mum writing a mental health blog.

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