Panzanella is a delicious, cool, typically Tuscan dish. In particular, this is a summer-time dish based on simple ingredients and what is available. The first rule for panzanella is that it can only be made with D.O.C. Tuscan bread. The bread is soaked in water, crumbled and squeezed until the water is eliminated. Tomatoes, basil, lettuce and red onions are the dominant vegetables, but there are also others. Cucumbers are also a popular addition.
Panzanella is consumed cold (but not too cold!) as a first course, dressed with good olive oil, salt, pepper and vinegar.
Often you can find panzanella offered in typical Tuscan trattorias as well as at specific local festivals which celebrate this beloved dish. Many other local festivals where gastronomic stands are present can also be perfect occasions to taste this Tuscan dish.