Panzanella is my new favourite thing. It's a salad (no, really?!) so of course I'm going to love it for that reason alone, but what's extra great about this salad is that it is so versatile.
Panzanella is a classic Italian salad made using stale bread and although the recipe combinations vary from region to region, this one has to be my fave at the moment because of its simplicity & its ability to sit happily along side anything...
You want some grilled chicken with it? Go for it!
What about a nice piece of pan fried sea bass or some salt & pepper prawns? Now you're talking!
Hey, you could even go all kinds of crazy and have grilled chicken AND some spiced up couscous like I did three times this week. Yes, count them - THREE!
You could do all of those things, but this bold and punchy salad will make you just as happy eating it on it's own because it is
Go on, get some PanZan in your life!
For four people you will need:
- 1 small loaf of bread (about 2 days old) cut into large chunks*
- 1/2 cucumber, chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 3 ripe vine tomatoes, quartered
- 4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsps red wine vinegar
- 2 heaped tbsps capers, drained & rinsed
- 1 tsp sugar
- 12 basil leaves, torn
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
*you could cut up a fresher loaf & place in a low oven for 10 minutes or so to harden a little. I've done this & it works fine.
And you will need to do this:
1. In a large bowl combine the cucumber, onion, tomatoes and capers. Mix well.
2. Add your bread, season with salt & pepper and mix.
3. In a separate bowl whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar & sugar until the sugar is well dissolved. Add to the salad along with the torn basil. Mix well, cover & refrigerate for a couple of hours, until the bread is moist but not soggy.
4. Serve and enjoy!