Heirloom Tomato Panzanella

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Heirloom Tomato Panzanella | What's Gaby Cooking

Last weekend was a first for me. I ventured away from the west side of LA aka the part by the beach where I live, (whoa – I deserve a round of applause for venturing past the 405) and went to Hollywood for a trip to their farmers market. I’d never been before, obviously, and I needed to see what all the hype was about. Lucky for me, I met up with Catherine, my fabulous friend who was happy to let me tag along with her and guide me through some of her favorite fruit and vegetable vendors at the market.

It was pretty spectacular. There were pupusas which is basically a MUST for me at any farmers market. And plenty of celeb sightings which always keeps things entertaining. Not to mention the produce was amazing. Lucky for me my favorite fruit stand is at both Santa Monica and Hollywood so I didn’t miss out any any of the stone fruits in season right now. And they had a serious array of colorful heirloom tomatoes. I stocked up like whoa because Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salad has been making an appearance on our dinner table on a nightly basis.

Tomatoes are going nuts right now. The color, the flavor, the varieties…. they are seriously taking California by storm and I’m pumped. I like to keep things crazy simple when eating these Heirloom Tomatoes and basically just cut them up, throw them with some freshly made garlic croutons and a homemade vinaigrette. Done and done. It’s gorgeous. Easy to make. Perfect for a party. And you could seriously eat a few bowls of this which would probably take care of your daily vegetable intake. I’m just lookin out for you guys.

And I made ya another video.

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella

Ready, set, watch!

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella

Course Side Dish, Salad
Cuisine Italian


For the tomatoes:

  • 2-3 pounds colorful heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • salt and pepper

For the Croutons:

  • 1 loaf country bread
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 1 shallot roughly chopped
  • 1 cup tightly packed basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons basil vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt


For the tomatoes:

  • Clean and cut the tomatoes into large bite sized pieces and transfer them to a bowl.

For the Croutons:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cut the bread into small cubes. Transfer cubed bread to a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Drizzle the bread with the olive oiland then sprinkle with garlic, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
  • Using your hands, gently toss the croutons and make sure they are coated with all the oils and seasonings.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.

For the Vinaigrette:

  • Combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a food processor or blender and mix until smooth.
  • Drizzle over tomatoes and croutons.


  1. Great video! Looks like the perfect summer salad! I’m so happy you shared a vinaigrette recipe; I’ve been thinking about making one instead of using store-bought and this is exactly what I’ve been looking for!

    1. Thanks Mya!! The Basil Vinaigrette is seriously my fav- I use it on everything these days!

  2. We’re still waiting for tomatoes to come into season here in the Midwest. Can’t wait to make this!

  3. Sounds amazing, pity we don’t get such a variety of lovely tomatoes in the UK, but I’m sure I could manage something. The dressing sounds amazing.

    1. Any gorgeous tomatoes will work 🙂 I found a bunch of really amazing vine tomatoes at my market the other day and used them right up!

  4. Panzanella is seriously one of my favorite things in the entire world during the summer! Small trick I learned from America’s Test Kitchen. Salt the tomatoes for 30 minutes ahead of time in a colander set over a bowl and then used the reserved juice in the dressing for an extra tomato-y kick!

    1. Yeah, it’s crazy but it actually works! I did it with the cucumbers I added in this weekend too and it worked great (though they let out less liquid). It helped remove some of the excess moisture from the tomatoes so you can control how much dressing to add and it really does add a lot of extra flavor!

  5. This looks soooo good!!! I will give it a go! Your comment about not venturing too far from the westside, reminds me of me…..when we eat out, generally we will stay in the South Bay! We live in Manhattan Beach, and there are just so many good restaurants here! However, you should really go to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market! TERRIFIC! Also, Torrance on Crenshaw Blvd. on Saturdays!

    thanks for the recipe!

    1. omg Manhattan Beach is one of our favorite places to visit 🙂 I am OBSESSED with MB Post! Dying to try Fishing with Dynamite too 🙂

      And I do go to the santa monica farmers market all the time! It’s that and Brentwood – those are my 2 go-tos!

    2. Haven’t been to the Post yet, but certainly Simmzy’s! BEST burger in town….not to mention the blue cheese fries……..
      Thx for the recipe!

  6. How interesting!! My boyfriend lives literally at the corner of the Hollywood Farmer’s market but we don’t get to go very often. Might have to make it happen soon for all the fun celebrity watching!

    1. oh ya! tons of fun celeb sightings – and even more fun paparazzi sightings. Those people are cray!

    1. Yes – I’d combine everything last minute before serving so nothing gets soggy! You could prep the tomatoes at home and package them up. Make the basil vinaigrette at home and package that up – and same with the croutons! And then just toss everything together when you’re ready to eat!

  7. I found beautiful heirlooms at the Farmer’s Market today and immediately thought of this recipe. It will be lunch tomorrow. Can’t wait!

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