Inspired living

Okra Panzanella Recipe

Tuscan-Inspired Vegetarian Okra Panzanella Recipe

Credit: Lisa Holmen

I love adding olives and roasted capsicum to this traditional Tuscan-inspired recipe. The addition of pan-fried okra and lemon gives the dish an interesting textural twist. The salad is a great way to use up leftover tomatoes and bread. If you only have fresh bread, just leave the bread uncovered on a plate to dry for an hour or dry it out on low heat in the oven.

Serves: 4



  • 1 red capsicum
  • 1 yellow capsicum
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 okra, sliced into 2cm pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Juice ½ lemon
  • 600g ripe mixed tomatoes, diced
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • 250g day-old ciabatta or sourdough loaf, coarsely torn
  • 2 tbsp red-wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 50g Kalamata olives
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. On oven tray lined with baking paper, add capsicums and roast for 20 mins until the skin blisters and starts to go black. Once cooled, deseed and cut into small strips.
  3. In the meantime, prepare okra. Heat olive oil in large frying pan over medium–high heat. Add garlic, sea salt and okra and cook until golden and slightly crispy. Take off heat and leave to cool slightly then add a squeeze of lemon juice and season to your liking.
  4. Combine tomatoes in large bowl and add caster sugar to sweeten slightly in their own juices for 20 mins.
  5. Add onion, capsicum, okra and ciabatta to tomato mix then sprinkle with red-wine vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil. Season as required.
  6. Top with basil leaves and Kalamata olives. Serve immediately.


Lisa Holmen

Lisa Holmen is a food and travel writer, recipe developer and photographer. Her blog, Lisa Eats World, is one of the leading food and travel blogs in Australia, featuring healthy recipes, restaurant reviews and food-inspired travel guides. Lisa divides her time between the bustle of Melbourne and her new home on the Mornington Peninsula where she loves meeting local producers, visiting wineries, soaking up the coastal lifestyle and adopting a “slower” approach to living.
An advocate of sustainable and ethical foods, Lisa is particularly passionate about healthy, organic and wholesome foods and cooking from scratch. She believes in simplicity in the kitchen and loves trying new recipes, drawing inspiration from her travel adventures and her heritage. Although she’s not a vegetarian, Lisa has an appreciation for plant-based cooking and wholefoods and tries to cook vegetarian at home wherever possible.