Grinder Panzanella- We’re taking the Tiktok famous sandwich, deconstructing it, and turning it into a hearty bread salad.
July 8, 2022 by Nicole Collins
I get it now.
I get the hype of Tiktok.
I put off joining for a long time. I got my viral video fix once they started making their rounds on Instagram.
But if I want to keep growing this little corner of the internet of ours, I have to go where the people are.
And, I freaking love it!
There are so many smart and innovative people on Tiktok. Talk about major inspiration!
The commenters on Tiktok are a special breed of bold and nasty sometimes, but working most of my life in some form of customer service has prepared me for the trolls.
For today’s recipe, we’re taking a sandwich that went crazy on the internet and giving it a little remix.
Today, we’re making Grinder Panzanella!
Whether you’re on Tiktok or not; you’ve surely seen, heard of, and probably even had this internet famous sandwich. It’s basically an Italian cold cut that’s been lightly toasted, and it’s stuffed with this unbelievable iceberg lettuce mixture that’s loaded up with mayo, vinegar, banana peppers, and lots of other savory/tangy things. It’s really the grinder salad that makes the sandwich. So today, we’re taking the salad/sammie concept and flipping it into an easy to share panzanella salad. And let me tell you, it’s as amazing as the original!
So, let’s get to it!
A panzanella is simply just a bread salad. Think of a salad where the croutons are the star, and the veggies are the supporting actors. It’s basically everyone’s dream come true! Bread choice is important here. You want to choose a bread that can stand up to some of the wetter ingredients we’re going to toss with it, but you don’t want something that’s going to get too hard or tough when we dry it out. So for this sandwich, we’re going with a classic baguette.
Panzanella is typically made with stale bread, but we can help that process along by lightly toasting the bread in the oven. So, we’re going to cut the baguette into roughly one inch cubes. We’ll toss it with a drizzle of olive oil. And, we’ll pop it in the oven for a couple minutes until it’s lightly golden on the outside but still has a little bit of chew on the inside. From there, we’ll set it aside to let it cool a bit. And in the meantime, we can get working on our salad dressing.
Now in pretty much every video I watched about this salad, the instructions were the same when it came to the dressing for the grinder salad: measure with your heart. But lucky for you guys, I quantified the measurements my heart provided so that you don’t have to! We’re making the dressing pretty much the exact same way as the original sandwich. So, we need some mayo, some red wine vinegar, some grated garlic, a little dried oregano, and some red pepper flakes to start off our dressing. Then, we’re going to add some minced red onion and some minced banana peppers to the party. In the original, the onion and peppers were just a mix in with the lettuce. But, they work better in this salad when they’re chopped up into the dressing.
Once our bread has cooled down a bit, we can add in the rest of our salad components. Now, the original sandwich was loaded with Italian deli meats, cheese, and tomatoes, So, we’re going for the same vibe. We’ll chop up some grape tomatoes, slice some mini salami, and shred some mozzarella to add to our bowl. Now this might be a little controversial, but we’re also going to add shredded romaine lettuce to this salad. In the original sandwich, it was very clear that the lettuce had to be iceberg. But, it’s just a little too wet for this salad. Sorry, iceberg! But, once you shred the romaine finely enough, you’ll barely notice the difference.
The last thing to do is to pour over that dressing, add some freshly shredded parmesan cheese, and give it all a good mix. That’s it! From there, we dig in.
This salad is as epic as the sandwich that inspired it if you ask me. All of the flavors are there, it’s a little less messy to eat, and it’s great for sharing with a crowd. The dressing is creamy, tangy, and a little spicy. The tomatoes add the perfect hit of acidity. The bread keeps its crunch while still absorbing all that glorious dressing. Talk about a home run!
Alright, everyone. What’s been your favorite viral recipe trend floating around? What should we remix next?
I hope you enjoy! And, let’s eat!
Grinder Panzanella Salad
Serves: 4-6 Print
For the Grinder Dressing:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 garlic clove, grated
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ cup red onion, minced
¼ cup banana peppers, drained and minced
For the Salad:
1 baguette (about 4 heaping cups), cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups heirloom grape tomatoes, halved
1 ½ cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 cup mini salami, halved
½ cup shredded mozzarella
¼ cup shredded parmesan
Salt and pepper, to taste
Toast the bread cubes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add bread cubes to a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Toss well to coat the bread. Bake for 10-12 mins until the bread becomes golden and crisp. Set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, make the dressing: To a mixing bowl, add mayo, vinegar, oregano, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine. Add red onion and banana peppers. Mix again to fully combine.
Assemble the salad: To a large mixing bowl, add bread cubes, tomato, lettuce, salami, and mozzarella. Toss to combine. Add dressing, parmesan, and a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste. Toss well to completely coat. Serve immediately.
*This salad is best served fresh. Though the bread holds up better than you'd think with all of the wet ingredients, it should be eaten within 1-2 hours of making it for the best results.
*I like to use heirloom grape tomatoes, because they add beautiful color and delicious sweet flavor. But, regular grape tomatoes can be used, as well.
*Iceberg lettuce is traditional in the grinder salad, but it’s a little too wet for this salad. The romaine makes the perfect substitute. Just make sure to shred it nice and thin.
*This dressing has the perfect little kick to it. If you prefer less spice, use 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes.