Marcy Ragan's Grilled Panzanella Caprese

April 18, 2021
16 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 8 to 12
Author Notes

This recipe manages to combine three of our favorite summery Italian staples—tomato caprese + grilled bruschetta + panzanella—in an utterly simple and harmonious, if not entirely traditional, way. Adapted slightly from Marcy Ragan, private chef and caterer at Relish Your Chef. —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Marcy Ragan's Grilled Panzanella Caprese
  • 1 sourdough boule (14-16 ounces), sliced about 3/4-inch thick
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cubed into approximately 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh ripe tomatoes, cubed into approximately 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 to 2 large cloves fresh garlic, papery skin off and left whole
  • 1 cup good olive oil or extra virgin olive oil (you can use 1/2 cup regular olive oil for grilling and 1/2 cup good extra virgin for the salad if you prefer)
  • Sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  1. Fire up your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. (If you have neither, fire up your broiler.)
  2. In a large bowl that you think can fit all of the ingredients, place the tomatoes and about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Gently stir salt through tomatoes.
  3. With a pastry brush/kitchen brush, brush oil onto both sides of each slice of bread and place on a baking sheet or platter large enough to accommodate all of the slices and cloves of garlic. You will probably use about 1/2 cup oil here. The remaining oil is for the salad.
  4. When the bread is grilled on both sides, remove from the heat of the grill.
  5. When the bread is cool enough to touch or holding it with tongs, hold garlic clove in hand and rub over bread gently, both sides. Continue until all bread has garlic on it. With a serrated knife, cut the bread into approximately 3/4-inch cubes.
  6. Taste the tomatoes to see if you want to use more salt, if tomatoes have released a lot of liquid, pour the liquid from the bowl and set aside in a measuring cup. You’ll add it back in later. Add more salt if necessary, to taste.
  7. Add mozzarella to tomatoes. Add basil. Toss together. Add grilled bread cubes to the same bowl. Add the red wine vinegar, remaining olive oil, and salt. Gently mix together.
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning. Pour some (1/4 cup to 1/2 cup) of tomato water into salad if you would like it a little more moist. Enjoy!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Picholine
  • relishyourchef
  • meme shebroe
    meme shebroe
  • Boggsd
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

33 Reviews

meme S. May 29, 2022
I have made this wonderful salad for my family and friends. Served as a salad or light meal. Had most of the ingredients on hand. We all love, loved, it!, and everyone asked for the recipe. hanks for bringing back this absolutely delish salad side.
relishyourchef May 31, 2022
Thank you so much for trying the recipe! Cheers!
Boggsd August 21, 2020
Made it for a small dinner party and there was none left. Wonderful light taste for a summer time meal. Might try it for the main course paring it with a nice wine.
relishyourchef August 22, 2020
That’s great to hear! So glad that you and your friends enjoyed it!
DEBBIE July 30, 2020
I loved watching the video. Looks like the perfect salad to make with friends gathered around having wine while you prepare and what a tasty dish. We really enjoyed it and I shared with our daughter who lives in SF.
relishyourchef July 30, 2020
I’m so glad you enjoyed this Debbie!
Bebewatson July 22, 2020
How far ahead can this be made?
relishyourchef July 22, 2020
Hi there!
I would say you can assemble the morning of the same day you are going to eat it. Let me know if you have any more questions!
DEBBIE July 30, 2020
I made this and it’s delicious. I would assemble the components but not bring it together until before serving or your bread will be really soggy. Each component is so delicious together. Enjoy!
relishyourchef July 30, 2020
I will agree with Debbie here. It’s fine if assembled earlier but a la minute is best.
Jill H. July 29, 2019
Making this again for dinner tonight with grilled balsamic chicken - sooo good
relishyourchef July 29, 2019
I am so glad you enjoyed this Jill!
Chris July 17, 2019
We have a large crop of grape tomatoes. Can they be used if they are cut in half lengthwise?
relishyourchef July 18, 2019
Hi Chris - Absolutely! I say go with the best tomatoes you can find and it sounds like you have a beautiful harvest! Enjoy!
Chris July 18, 2019
Thank you so much. Can’t wait to try!
relishyourchef July 19, 2019
Let me know how it turns out!!
Coco July 29, 2018
Marcy, do you suggest serving this on grilled bread as an appetizer or is it to be a side dish or a topping for a protein? It sounds delish but just not sure where it fits in the meal. Thanks.
relishyourchef July 29, 2018
Hi Coco! I usually make this dish as a buffet type item. It’s wonderful on its on for a lunch or with a simple grilled fish or chicken. It’s a side dish, really. I wouldn’t use it as a topping for bread, because it has bread in the dish. Enjoy!
cooking44 July 26, 2018
Made this last night and it was a big hit. Will continue making it as long as tomatoes are in season.
relishyourchef July 26, 2018
That is wonderful! Enjoy!
anniette July 25, 2018
Lovely looking recipe, thank you! A little confused about step 3: are you grilling the bread on a sheet pan, or just using the pan to catch excess oil? Why is the garlic on the pan? Sorry to be dense, I plan to make this today.
David T. July 25, 2018
I was wondering if the garlic was grilled too? And why not grill bread on grill?
anniette July 25, 2018
Yes. That's what I meant to say. Is the sheet pan just to keep things neat during prep? It's inclusion seems to be confusing.
anniette July 25, 2018
relishyourchef July 25, 2018
Hiya! You are grilling the bread on the grill. The sheet pan is to hold the bread and the garlic. You are not grilling the garlic. Garlic is to remain raw, as a whole clove, and as you rub it onto the grilled bread, it cooks the garlic a little bit and the flavor seeps into the bread. The sheet pan is just to keep things neat. I am a chef, so everything goes on a sheet pan. Hope this helps, Marcy @relishyourchef
relishyourchef July 25, 2018
Hi, please see answer below!
anniette July 25, 2018
Made this for lunch. Delightful! We found we liked a little thinly slivered, then chopped, red onion and a pinch of crushed red pepper, added. Definitely a keeper, thank you!!!
Served it with grilled chicken in a honey/lemon/pepper marinade (recent recipe from Kitchn). A forever combination!!
relishyourchef July 25, 2018
Super! Thanks for sharing! Enjoy!
Picholine July 25, 2018
I can’t wait to put that tomato mixture on the grilled bread! Yup! That’s what I’m going to do! Yum!
relishyourchef July 25, 2018
That’s a great idea. Let the tomato mixture have contact with the bread for a little bit before serving so it soaks up the juices. Enjoy!
relishyourchef July 22, 2018
Thank you for reading! Any questions don’t hesitate to reach out. Cheers! Marcy of
Diana C. July 21, 2018
Sounds delicious. Can’t wait to try it out.
relishyourchef July 26, 2018
Go for it