Alternative namesPanmolle
Place of originItaly
Region or stateTuscany
Main ingredientsBread, tomatoes, onions

Panzanella [pantsaˈnɛlla] or panmolle [pamˈmɔlle] is a Tuscan chopped salad of soaked stale bread, onions and tomatoes that is popular in the summer. It often includes cucumbers, sometimes basil and is dressed with olive oil and vinegar.

It is also popular in other parts of central Italy.


The 16th-century artist and poet Bronzino sings the praises of onions with oil and vinegar served with toast[1] and, a page later, speaks of a salad of onions, purslane, and cucumbers.[2][3] This is often interpreted as a description of panzanella.[4]

The name is believed to be a portmanteau of "pane", Italian for bread, and "zanella", a deep plate in which it is served.[5]


A close-up view of a panzanella
A close-up view of a panzanella

Panzanella was based on onions, not tomatoes, until the 20th century.[6]

Modern panzanella is generally made of stale bread soaked in water and squeezed dry, red onions, tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Cucumbers and basil are often added.[citation needed]

Other ingredients—lettuce, olives, mozzarella, white wine, capers, anchovies, celery, carrots, red wine, tuna, parsley, boiled eggs, mint, bell peppers, lemon juice, and garlic—are sometimes used, but Florentine traditionalists disapprove of them.[4]

See also


  1. ^ "In lode delle cipolle", Capitoli faceti editi ed inediti di Mess. Agnolo Allori detto il Bronzino..., Venice, 1822 text
  2. ^ Bronzino, Agnolo; Magrini, Pietro (January 25, 1822). "Li capitoli faceti editi ed inediti di mess". Dalla Tipografia di Alvisopoli – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Zeldes, Leah A. (2009-09-02). "Eat this! Panzanella: Ripe tomatoes turn stale bread into manna". Dining Chicago. Chicago's Restaurant & Entertainment Guide, Inc. Retrieved 2010-08-03.
  4. ^ a b Marco Bazzichi, "Panzanella, tra tradizione e le varianti «immigrate»", Corriere Fiorentino 18 agosto 2010 text
  5. ^ Dolce Jasmine (2017-11-14), Panzanella salad: What you should know, archived from the original on 2021-12-18, retrieved 2017-11-14
  6. ^ The earliest mention of tomatoes in panzanella found in Google Books is in 1928, in Le vie d'Italia (Rivista mensile del Touring Club Italiano 75)