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.