A traditional Panzanella or Tuscan tomato & bread salad is one of the greatest salads in existence – it’s a classic for a reason. It’s one of those dishes that feels special despite being incredibly simple to make and one of the key components is stale.

It’s very rare that I ever have stale bread in the house because put bluntly, I am a bread monster. Put a fresh loaf or baguette in front of me and watch how quickly it can disappear. It’s my party trick. Miracles can happen though and when I do find myself with stale bread, the first thing on my mind is Panzanella salad.

Ripe, juicy tomatoes, stale bread that’s been rehydrated with the beautiful salad juices, peppery olive oil, salty anchovies and capers, zingy pickled onions and fragrant basil – it’s a harmonious balance of textures, flavours and smells. For me, this salad can really only be eaten in summer when tomatoes are in season at their finest and I can eat this outside, dreaming of Tuscan hills.

Classic Panzanella

Classic Panzanella

0 from 0 votes
Course: LunchCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes

Ripe, juicy tomatoes, stale bread that’s been rehydrated with the beautiful salad juices, peppery olive oil, salty anchovies and capers, zingy pickled onions and fragrant basil – it’s a harmonious balance of textures, flavours and smells.

Ingredients

  • 300 g stale bread – ciabatta or a rustic loaf is best

  • 600 g ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

  • sea salt

  • 1 tsp capers, chopped roughly

  • 1 small red onion, finely sliced

  • 250 g jarred roasted red peppers, sliced in strips

  • 5 anchovy fillets, finely sliced (omit if you want to keep it vegetarian)

  • white wine vinegar

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • bunch fresh basil

Directions

  • Tear the bread up or use a knife if it is very stale and hard. Pop in a bowl.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes to the bowl and season generously with salt – this will help to draw the moisture out of the tomatoes and rehydrate the bread.
  • Add the capers, along with the onion, peppers, anchovies, a dash of vinegar and a very generous glug of olive oil. Toss well, taste and more salt, olive oil, vinegar or even juice from the jar of capers if needed.
  • Tear the basil leaves on top and serve immediately. Delicious as it is or served alongside roast chicken or oily fish such a mackerel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.