Light and fresh panzanella salad for summer

When the weather warms, this easy to prepare Italian-inspired panazella salad from Will Cowper, Head Chef at Otto Ristorante, will delight all.

Easy to prepare panzanella is a classic Tuscan salad of bread and tomatoes that is popular in summer. Traditionally it includes chunks of soaked stale bread and tomatoes, onions and basil, all dressed with olive oil and vinegar.

Burrata is a soft texture, fresh Italian cheese from the region of Puglia, made from mozzarella and cream. It has an elastic outer layer which encases a creamy and oozy interior. You might have to hunt around for a cheese shop or a delicatessen with a decent cheese cabinet to find this delight. Fresh mozzarella would be the closest substitute, but it is well worth seeking out the real thing.

Fresh and summery, it is still hearty and filling enough to eat as a light supper or lunch. For a more substantial meal, serve as a side dish to roast chicken, grilled steak or grilled tuna.

Burrata, Panzanella Salad

(Serves 4)


4x50g Burrata
8 red cherry tomatoes (halved)
8 yellow cherry tomatoes (halved)
8 kumato tomatoes (halved)
1 cucumber (matchstick size pieces)
1 red onion (thinly sliced)
2 red capsicums (roasted, peeled and cut into triangles)
20g pitted black Ligurian olives (chopped)
10g capers (good quality in oil)
1 slice sourdough bread (croutons)
50ml Extra virgin olive oil (good quality)
20ml red wine vinegar
1punnet baby basil


Bring the burrata to room temperature before plating.

Place one burrata in the centre of four separate round bowls. Sporadically place all the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, red capsicum, capers, olives evenly around the burrata.

Dress the tomatoes with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Finish with the sourdough croutons and baby basil. Season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy this and other Italian classics prepared with fresh Australian ingredients at Otto Ristorante, 480 Queen St, Brisbane City.