A PANZANELLA RECIPE FOR
May 2, 2022
As far as food pairings go, it's hard to beat perfectly ripe tomatoes dressed in lashings of olive oil and sea salt. This traditionally-Tuscan salad is a fantastic way to use up day-old bread while enjoying the bounty of summer tomatoes.
Nothing says summer has arrived quite like setting an outdoor table with bowls of fresh salad and bottles of rosé. The first al fresco lunch of the year is always a real joy, and this Panzanella salad is a happy accompaniment. It's fresh, crispy and zingy owing to the vinaigrette (which you don't want to skimp on). Even the name is fun.
- 1kg perfectly ripe mixed tomatoes, halved or quartered (I prefer to have a few different sizes and colours)
- 300g day-old sourdough or ciabatta, torn into large chunks
- 100mL extra-virgin olive oil
- 50mL red wine vinegar
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 50g capers
- 100g black olives, pitted
- Large handful of basil leaves, torn
- Black pepper, to taste
- Heat the oven to 180°C. Put the tomatoes in a colander and sprinkle over a couple of big pinches of sea salt, then leave to sit for 15 mins.
Spread the chunks of bread on a baking tray and toss with 1tsp olive oil. Bake for 10-15 mins, or until lightly toasted.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining oil, the vinegar and shallot. Season to taste. Toss the capers with the tomatoes, most of the croutons (reserve some for garnish), olive oil dressing, the olives and half the basil in a large bowl. Let sit for at least 30 mins and up to 4 hours before serving; the tomatoes and the bread will absorb all the juices.
To serve, toss with a little more olive oil, vinegar and salt if needed. Spoon the panzanella onto a serving plate and top with the remaining basil and crispy croutons.