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Recipe: Panzanella Green Bean Salad

A bunch of long green beans in a metal container in front of gray fabric

Panzanella Green Bean Salad

By Beth Dooley, chef and author

Panzanella—the word is said to have come from the Italian “pane” (bread) and “zanella” (soup bowl). What it really means is a salad-sandwich, with fresh garden vegetables, great bread, and terrific olive oil. Though it’s most often associated with tomatoes, this summer toss-up is open to any interpretation—including zucchini, summer squash, and cucumbers—and it’s terrific with green beans. Make this ahead so the flavors mingle and the bread softens; it’s perfect picnic or beach fare. If you like, add cooked chicken, diced mozzarella, or crisped pancetta for a main-dish salad.

Serves about 4 to 6 (recipe is easily doubled)


Four long green beans hang on a vine with pink flowers, surrounded by large green leaves
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  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 to 5 cups cubed artisan bread (preferably sourdough)
  • 1¼ pounds green beans, tips removed
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Toss the bread cubes with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the oil.

Spread bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.

Put into a salad bowl.

Fill a skillet with 1 inch of water, set over high heat, bring to a boil and cook the green beans until they are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes, but not too soft.

Drain beans and pat them dry.

Cut beans into 3-inch pieces.

Put beans into the salad bowl and add the tomatoes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and remaining olive oil and toss with the vegetables to lightly coat.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.