Panzanella Bread Salad

Chucks Hughes’ freshly prepared Panzanella Bread Salad with garlic shrimp is a gourmet appetizer that will satisfy anyone!

Easy, Moderate, Complex
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep time: 2 hours
Yields:  4 to 6 servings 


  • For the salad:
  • 4 slices of day old sourdough bread, cubed
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 3 or 4 large tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil (125 ml)
  • 1/2 pound of asparagus cut into 1-inch pieces (225 g)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (15 ml)
  • 15 medium-size shrimp, de-veined, tail intact
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, charred, peeled and diced
  • 1 Burrata cheese*
  • 8 capers berries
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • Handful of dandelions
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven at 350 ˚F (200 ˚C).
  2. Place the sourdough bread on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. 
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl mix together dandelions, cherry tomatoes, red onion, roasted pepper, caper berries & fresh basil. Keep aside in the fridge.
  4. Chop a garlic clove in half, and rub it on the bottom and sides of a large bowl. While the croutons are still hot, add them into the bowl to infuse the garlic flavor.  Squeeze the tomatoes halves over the croutons to allow their juices to mix in. Once tomatoes have been juiced, cut up the remainder of the tomatoes and toss in with the crouton mixture. Drizzle with olive oil and let it rest at room temperature for 2 hours for the bread to soak all the juices from the tomatoes and olive oil.
  5. In a pan on medium high heat, sauté the asparagus in butter for 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from the pan and toss it with the croutons. Add the shrimps to the same pan and sauté in olive oil for 1 minute, on each side.  Add the garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Combine the croutons and asparagus with the dandelion salad.
  7. For the serving: Cut the Burrata cheese on the serving plate, season with salt & pepper. Pile the panzanella salad and the garlic shrimp on top.
  8. Cook’s note: Mozzarella di buffala or feta can be used instead of Burrata cheese.