Summer Watermelon Tomato Panzanella Salad

Summer panzanella (bread salad) with a fruit twist: tomatoes, watermelon and blueberries with basil.

Summer Watermelon Tomato Panzanella Salad

One of my favorite summer meals is what Chris and I call a "platter meal". Really, all that means is there are lots of produce options and some kind of bread and some kind of cheese. We do a lot of that during summer and the start of football season. This simple summer panzanella with fruit is no different. It's just all in one bowl and combined instead of spread out on a platter.

This weekend on Stories I shared my farmer's market purchases for the week and what we ended up making from them. On repeat during peak tomato season, one option is tomatoes and burrata with bread (that was Saturday). Panzanella is another good option that you can make from farmer's market finds. While this recipe uses watermelon and blueberries, you could definitely make it with peaches. But I had blueberries, and initially the decision to add them started as styling move...but they totally work and now they're just part of the recipe. I like when it works out like that.

Summer Watermelon Tomato Panzanella Salad
Summer Watermelon Tomato Panzanella Salad

My favorite thing about this specific recipe are the gold currant tomatoes on top. Back in April at our town's flower and garden show, Chris and I bought a few unusual tomato varieties to grow including Green Zebra, Black Krim and these Gold Currants. In comparison to the standard tomato from the farmers market, these are sweeter and more intense which really just goes to show how vague the word 'tomato' can be. The gold currants are obviously not required (I can't say I've seen them commercially available) but I like to use what I have on hand. I'd recommend using a secondary tomato variety to compliment the variety used in the base recipe. Find a different flavor and different shape and color. Experiment. And if that means eating and testing many tomatoes, that's probably for the better.

For the bread in the salad, from what I understand you want a stale bread for panzanella and it's going to get squishy and wet. I don't like that. In my salad version I like toasted bread that mingles with the other things going on. It's allowed to soak up some tomato and olive oil, but I'm not into the mush. You do you, but you don't have to follow traditional panzanella rules here. I won't tell. 

Summer Watermelon Tomato Panzanella Salad
Summer Watermelon Tomato Panzanella Salad
Summer Watermelon Tomato Panzanella Salad

Summer Watermelon Tomato Panzanella Salad

light entrée salad: serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 large, vine ripened tomato, cut into wedges
  • 3/4 cup smaller secondary tomato variety (eg cherry, gold currant seen here, or grape)
  • 2 cups cubed seedless or de-seeded watermelon
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 cups bread, cubed (eg slightly stale or toasted baguette, bâtard, etc)
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

 

Directions: Cut base tomato into wedges. Cut watermelon into cubes or small triangles (bite sized). Toast bread and cube. Layer all with blueberries and feta with basil leaves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil on top. Toss Serve. 

Note: To make this a more robust meal, serve with rotisserie chicken. 

summer watermelon tomato panzanella salad

Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.