Panzanella is a thrifty Tuscan tomato salad will have you deliberately buying too much bread. And, waiting for it to go stale. You don’t have to wait too long – day-old bread is perfect.

serves 2+

~500g juicy, ripe tomato/es.
1/2 red onion; finely sliced
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
2 tbsp caper berries
200g good, stale bread: sourdough is great
4 tbsp of good quality red or white wine vinegar
handful of black olives
a healthy bunch of basil

for the dressing
4 tbsp good olive oil
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

  1. Place the peppers over the open flames of your hob. Turning occasionally with tongs until they are blackened all over. Remove to an adequately sized bowl and cover – I use a plate. Leave to one side for 20 minutes to steam.
  2. Rinse, peel and cut your tomatoes into gachos (bite-sized pieces); lightly season and place in a colander (or sieve) over a bowl.
  3. Using a mandolin – or your knife skills – to finely slice the onion.
  4. Break the bread into bite-sized pieces.
  5. In a large bowl, add the bread pieces and drizzle over the vinegar before adding the onions and the caper berries.
  6. Remove the blackened skins from the peppers: they should come off with a light rub.
  7. Take the peppers and carefully open them, reserving the liquid which will we add to the tomato liquid for the dressing.
  8. Then, remove the stalks, seed bulbs and any remaining loose seeds. Cut the peppers into fine strips and add to the salad bowl.
  9. Give the colander holding the tomatoes a little shake before tipping the tomatoes into the bowl contain the bread.
  10. Mix in the olives and the basil leaves.
  11. For the dressing, combine the sieved liquid from the tomatoes and the peppers. Season well and whisk in the olive oil.
  12. Dress and toss before serving.


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