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An up close, overhead shot of a pickle panzanella salad with crispy bits of bread, chopped cucumbers, pickles and red onion, plus shaved fennel and fresh dill. Photographed in a wide, white bowl with wood serving tongs.
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Pickle Panzanella Salad

This pickle panzanella is a fun, refreshing, and delicious twist on the classic Italian bread salad. Ready in under 30 minutes and loaded with fresh vegetables like cucumber, red onion, and thinly shaved fennel.
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword 30 minutes, bbq, bbq sides, bread, cucumber, dill, dill pickles, dried dill weed, fall, fennel, garlic, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, olive oil, onion powder, pickles, red onion, spring, spring entertaining, summer, vegan worcestershire sauce, white wine vinegar, winter
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 -6

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons pickle brine
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated/minced
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup or agave nectar
  • ½ teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil

Pickle Panzanella Salad

  • 4-5 cups torn bread pieces, about 2-inches per piece
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 small fennel bulb, cored and shaved thin
  • ½ small red onion, shaved thin
  • 2 mini cucumbers, chopped
  • 3 large dill pickles, chopped
  • cup chopped fresh dill

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Set out a large baking sheet and line it with parchment paper or a Silpat if you like.
  • Make the dressing. In a sealable jar, combine the pickle brine, white wine vinegar, garlic, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Tightly close the lid on top and give it a good shake. Set aside.
  • Place the torn pieces of bread on the baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, white wine vinegar, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, dried dill weed, and some salt and pepper. This mixture will be like a paste. Spoon it over the bread pieces and toss until bread is evenly coated. Really get in there with your hands to make sure every piece is coated. Spread the pieces out in a single layer on the baking sheet. Pop it into the oven and bake until golden brown and crisp, about 12 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • In a large serving bowl, combine the shaved fennel, red onion, chopped cucumber, dill pickles, and fresh dill. Pour the dressing over top and season with salt and pepper. Give everything a toss. Then, add the crispy seasoned bread pieces to the bowl and toss again. Garnish the salad with more fresh dill and serve immediately.

Notes

  • I like using sourdough that’s a few days old for panzanella. In the photos here, I’m using a multi-seed sourdough and it really added to the textural aspect of the salad.
  • Honestly, I think the fresher style pickles that you find in the refrigerated section of some grocery stores are better for this, but I only had the yellow brine-style dill pickles on hand. It was still pretty great!
  • If you’re hesitant to try fennel, shaving it thin for a salad like this really does make a difference! The flavour is so mellow and fresh. But if you absolutely detest it, just add an extra mini cucumber to the mix.
  • If there's a vegan feta brand that you like and have on hand, a little sprinkle on top of the salad at the end is so delicious!
  • Lord Sandy's brand and Annie's both make vegan Worcestershire sauce options.