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Panzanella with Assorted Citrus and Tuna

Panzanella with Assorted Citrus and Tuna

Renée Robinson

This Goes Right to the Top of the List of Best Things I’ve Ever Eaten. My Family Concurs.

I’ve been wanting panzanella for awhile, but seeing as how tomatoes aren’t the best right now, I got to thinking about what else I could use. I’ve made different kinds of bread salads, but the classic tomato version is my hands down favorite and I didn’t want to be disappointed with a lesser version. I’m a sucker for citrus fruits and they happen to be plentiful at the moment, so I came up with this.

First and foremost of importance for any panzanella is the bread. It needs to be good quality crusty bread with a coarsely textured crumb, like a sourdough or a ciabatta. You don’t want a fine texture soft bread because it will fall apart when mixed with the dressing. And it goes without saying this dish will only be as good as the citrus that goes into it. If my particular mix of citrus isn’t available, that’s fine. I think this will work with any good variety of grapefruit and oranges. 

My family’s verdict is this is now our favorite panzanella. I can never get enough of those chunks of bread that stay crispy and chewy on the outside, while the center is soft and full of bright vinaigrette. The citrus provides the perfect balance of acid and sweetness, and when mixed with the rich, almost buttery tasting tuna, and the bright pops of pomegranate, the result was a dish I will definitely make again and again.  

Panzanella with Assorted Citrus and Tuna

Recipe by Renée Robinson



A different kind of panzanella, but one of the very best. Grapefruit, pomelo, oranges, pomegranate arils, and crusty bread in a bright dressing with nigella seeds. Then olive oil packed tuna is added and you've got yourself a delicious meal.

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  • 3/4 pound crusty bread, torn into large bite sized pieces

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • kosher salt

  • 1 pomelo

  • 1 pink or red grapefruit

  • 2 oranges, any variety

  • 1 large shallot, minced

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon champagne vinegar

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves

  • 2 teaspoons nigella seeds

  • 7 ounces good quality tuna, packed in olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate arils (seeds)

  • kosher salt

  • freshly ground pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Toss the pieces of bread with 2 T. olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Place on a sheet pan and bake for about 25 minutes, flipping the pieces of bread halfway through. You only want them crispy on the outside. You don’t want them browned. Let cool.
  • Slice the peels off all the citrus and cut each into segments (supremes), holding your hand over a bowl as you slice the fruit segments in order to save all the juices. Put the fruit to the side and squeeze the remaining membranes from each piece of fruit into the bowl in order to extract all the juice. To the juice in the bowl whisk in the mustard, shallot, champagne vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and plenty of salt and pepper. The dressing should be highly seasoned.
  • About a half hour before serving, toss the dressing with the bread cubes, citrus segments, red onion, parsley, and nigella seeds. Let sit for a half hour in order for the bread to absorb the dressing. Right before serving add the tuna, pomegranate arils, and taste for seasoning. You may need additional salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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