How to make a panzanella salad

Summer’s greatest gift is easily its bounty of fresh produce. On the top of the list for us are fresh, ripe tomatoes. Don’t hide these little red gems away in lunchbox sandwiches. Show them off in a cooling summer salad such as a panzanella.

Panzanella-salad

This Tuscan salad is packed with flavour – using day old bread to soak up all the ripe tomato juices. Its humble origins date back to the 16th century and the variations are endless. Here’s our spin on the recipe.

Ingredients (serves 4)

2 red peppers, halved and de-seeded
½ loaf of day-old ciabatta, cut into 3cm chunks
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1 long red chilli, de-seeded, finely chopped
60ml red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
100ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
4 vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 cups assorted baby tomatoes, halved
½ red onion, thinly sliced
100g black olives, pitted
3 Tbsp capers
½ cup basil leaves

Method:

1. Preheat the grill to high and line an oven tray with foil.
2. Place the peppers, skin-side up, on the tray and cook for 15 minutes or until the skin is blistered and blackened. Fold foil up over the peppers and cool for 10 minutes. Peel off the skins, then cut into 5mm-thick strips.
3. Place the bread on an oven tray, drizzle generously with oil, then season with salt and pepper. Cook under the grill, turning frequently, for 10 minutes or until toasted on all sides. Cool, then place in a large serving bowl.
4. To make the dressing, place garlic, anchovies, chilli, vinegar and salt in a small bowl. Whisk to combine, then gradually whisk in the oil.
5. Using your hands, toss the tomatoes, grilled peppers, onions, olives, capers and dressing together and allow to stand for 30 minutes.

Mixing-tomatoes

6. Pour the tomato mixture over the crispy bread chunks in the serving platter and top with fresh basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper to serve.

Final-panzanella

So are you having panzanella salad for dinner tonight? It really is super simple. Don’t be afraid to put your own spin on it either, add any seasonal veggies you like.

With thanks to Jenna Viney for her beautiful recipes and styling.