Sweet figs and a healthy sprinkling of mildly sweet ricotta cheese, makes our fig panzanella a summer staple perfect for picnics and backyard entertaining.
Panzanella, the beloved bread salad of Tuscany captures the freshness of summer and is traditionally made with ripe tomatoes, oil, vinegar and onions. Changing its basic foundation, the swap of tomatoes for figs and a healthy sprinkling of mildly sweet ricotta cheese, makes our fig panzanella a summer staple perfect for picnics and backyard entertaining.
What's most satisfying is the promise of each bite; crunch from the bread, sweetness from the figs and red onion, aromatics from the basil, spiciness from the arugula, tanginess from the dressing and airy ricotta. What can we say, stale bread never tasted nor looked so good.
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Panzanella Recipe with Figs, Ricotta and Basil
We've included a video below to show you just how easy our fig panzanella recipe is to make. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date with all our videos.
Ingredients to Make Panzanella Salad with Figs, Ricotta and Basil
Rustic bread, extra virgin olive oil, red onion, figs, arugula, basil, fresh ricotta, honey, dijon mustard, champagne or white wine vinegar.
How to Make Croutons for Our Panzanella Salad Recipe
Cut your day-old loaf into ½ inch cubes and coat with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Toast the bread in a skillet until each side is golden brown, adding olive oil as necessary. Place toasted bread in a serving bowl and set aside.
Tip: always use slightly stale bread. It crisps much better in the pan and soaks up the dressing more than fresh could ever.
How to Make Dressing for Panzanella Salad Recipe
Slice a red onion with the grain, slice your figs into small chunks and place in the bowl with the bread. Combine ⅓ cup olive oil, dijon mustard, honey, vinegar, salt, and black pepper and whisk until combined. Pour 2 tablespoons of the dressing over top the bread, onions and figs and allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
Add Greens and Toppings
Right before serving, add the arugula, basil and ricotta cheese to your bread, onion and fig mixture. Be sure to toss gently as the figs, arugula and basil are delicate. Once fully mixed add in the remaining dressing, a quick stir and serve.
Styling tip: pile a salad dish high with your panzanella then top with additional ricotta, basil leaves and walnuts for a nuttier flavour and more texture.
Bon appetit xo
Chef Sous Chef
Helpful Tools and Ingredients to Make Our Fig Panzanella Salad Recipe
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Fig Panzanella with Ricotta & Basil
- ½ loaf rustic Italian bread torn or ½" cubed (about 4 cups)
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil divided
- ¼ medium red onion thinly sliced with the grain
- 4 whole figs diced
- 1 cup arugula
- ½ cup basil leaves loosely packed and torn
- ⅓ cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp champagne or white wine vinegar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- No. 1 | Toss the bread with 2-3 tbsp of olive oil to coat. Heat a skillet on medium-high and add the bread to toast on each side until golden brown. Add more olive oil as necessary. Place them in a bowl to cool while you prepare the other ingredients.
- No. 2 | Make the dressing by combining ⅓ cup olive oil, dijon mustard, honey, vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Whisk until combined. Add the sliced onions and figs to the bread. Pour all but 2 tbsp of the dressing and allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours in the fridge.
- No. 3 | Just before serving, add the arugula, basil and ricotta cheese. Toss with remaining dressing and serve.