Oh Panzanella...how I love thee so. After Farro Salad, Panzanella is my 2nd favorite go-to summer salad to make. Especially on a budget! When I was living in Lucca for a couple months during the summer, I'd bounce between these two salads all the time because they were tasty and made a LOT for not much money! Plus, making them in the summer has the added benefit of all the fresh seasonal produce that make them even more delicious.
They're actually really similar recipes too. Nearly identical actually except this recipe has the added tasty ingredient of fresh croutons! Traditionally, Panzanella is made with stale bread which is then softened with water to make edible again, then tossed with all the other ingredients. I like to make mine with day old focaccia which is a whole other level of YUM!
One of my favorite things about summers in Italy is the produce. Going to the market, be it an actual market or the local weekly market, is always such a treat because the quality of the produce in Italy is phenomenal! It's amazing how flavorful the produce in Italy is and just how affordable it can be in season too. Plus, lots of the produce you find at the market was probably grown in the nearby region!
A staple during my summers is a fresh Farro Salad. Farro is a small grain-like ingredient that has a chewy texture and is similar to barley. You'll see it pop up in salads, as sides or even in soups during the colder season. But during the summer, farro is the perfect addition to a fresh salad. The best thing about a farro salad is that you can easily change ingredients if something isn't available or you'd just like to add your favorite produce instead!