Eggplant Panzanella


A salad that's mostly croutons? Yes, please.

Eggplant Panzanella Recipe
Photo: Andrew Purcell
Hands On Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
6 serves

Panzanella is a traditional Italian salad that features cubes of deliciously toasty, grilled bread. The bread soaks up a bright, lemony vinaigrette and juices from cherry tomatoes. Meaty eggplant makes this panzanella hearty enough for dinner, while baby kale adds fresh crunch. But what ties all these elements together is a shower of shaved Manchego cheese and fragrant fresh dill. Make ahead tip: This dish can sit up to an hour in advance at room temperature. The bread gets softer as it soaks up the juices, so if you like soggier pieces, this is the move for you.


  • 2 small eggplant, cut lengthwise into 1-inch-thick planks

  • 12 ounces day-old sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch-thick slices

  • 9 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for grill grates

  • teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 4 ounces baby kale (about 4 cups)

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill

  • ounce Manchego cheese, shaved (about ½ cup)


  1. Preheat grill to medium (350 to 400°F) and lightly oil grates. Brush the eggplant and bread on both sides with 3 tablespoons oil, and then set the bread aside.

  2. Season eggplant on both sides with 1 teaspoon salt and then grill eggplant, uncovered, flipping once, until soft and grill marks appear, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool completely, about 15 minutes. Cut into ¾-inch pieces.

  3. While the eggplant cools, grill bread, uncovered, flipping once, until grill marks appear, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool for about 10 minutes. Cut into 1-inch chunks.

  4. Whisk lemon juice, mustard, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in remaining 6 tablespoons oil.

  5. Place eggplant, bread, kale, tomatoes, dill, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a large bowl and then add dressing, tossing to coat. Top with cheese and serve.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

610 Calories
36g Fat
60g Carbs
14g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 610
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 36g 46%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 1327mg 58%
Total Carbohydrate 60g 22%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 14g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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