Panzanella

When you have a glut of ripe summer tomatoes and cucumbers, this bread-based salad makes a great light lunch dish, starter or a perfect accompaniment to pretty much any BBQ’ed meat. It needs top quality ripe and juicy tomatoes, fruity extra-virgin olive oil and a good quality bread loaf like ciabatta or chewy country-style bread. You can make everything ahead of time but don’t mix the bread into the rest of the ingredients until 5 minutes before you want to eat it.

Serves 4

  • 1 ciabatta or country-style bread loaf
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 finely sliced red onion
  • 1 small red pepper (I use the wood roasted ones from a jar), cut into small slices
  • 750g ripe tomatoes, skinned
  • 2 tbsps capers in brine, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely grated
  • a handful of well flavoured olives
  • 2 tbsps red wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
  • 25g basil, torn into pieces
  • Maldon sea salt and black pepper

To make…

  • Slice the bread loaf in 2cm thick slices and toast lightly under the grill or in a toaster. Leave it to cool and then tear into roughly 2.5cm pieces.
  • Add the red wine vinegar, the olive oil and a tsp each of Maldon salt and black pepper into a large serving bowl and mix with the finely grated garlic, capers, olives and the finely chopped red onion.
  • Peel the cucumber, cut it in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Cut into bite-sized pieces and add to the bowl.
  • Skin the tomatoes by plunging them into boiling water for a minute so that the skin slips off easily. Cut the tomatoes into quarters. Place a sieve over the bowl. Scoop out the seeds and juice and pass it through the sieve – all the flavour is in the seeds so rub them with the back of a spoon against the sieve to extract every last drop. Discard the seeds once you’ve done that.
  • Chop the tomatoes into 2cm chunks and add to the bowl. Mix thoroughly with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Five minutes before serving, add the pieces of torn bread and basil and toss carefully with the tomato dressing. Allow the bread to soak up the juices and drizzle with a little more olive oil.

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About Janet Davies @pigeoncottage

Food lover, author, cook!
This entry was posted in Recipes, Salads, Summer recipes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Panzanella

  1. Pingback: Panzanella — Pigeon Cottage Kitchen | My Meals are on Wheels

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