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Panzanelea (french Bread Salad)

  • Yield: 4 servings


  • Olive oil for frying
  • 1/2 french bread loaf cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chiffonade of basil
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 Italian Roma tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/4 pound fresh Mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch slices


  • For croutons: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the bread crumbs and fry until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring oven to prevent sticking. Remove the croutons from pan and drain on a paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Toss the remaining ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  • To assemble, toss the fried bread with the other ingredients and place on a platter. Can be made ahead of time, by keeping the bread separate until serving.