Panzanella is an easy, hearty salad that's a great way to make the most of fresh tomatoes and use up some leftover bread.
Servings: 2 (as appetizer, or 1 hearty lunch)
- 2 oz bread 60g, around 1 ½ - 2 cups (see notes)
- 2 tomatoes (around 7oz/200g)
- ⅛ tsp salt (approx)
- ¼ red onion
- ½ Persian cucumber (or approx ¼ - ⅓ English cucumber, optional)
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp wine vinegar eg champagne vinegar
- 5 basil leaves
If the bread is not already relatively dry and stale, cut it into slices and leave overnight to dry, if you have time, or else place on a baking sheet in a low oven for a few minutes, turning now and then to dry out (but not go brown). Then continue with the rest fo the steps.
Dice the bread in small bite-sized chunks (around ½in/1cm square) and lay in a layer in a wide bowl (a double layer is fine). Dice the tomatoes in roughly the same size then add them to the bowl on top, along with any juices that collect. Sprinkle over the salt and set the bowl aside.
Thinly slice the shallot and cut the cucumber piece in half lengthwise then slice. Add both to the bowl with the bread and tomato and drizzle over the oil and vinegar. Mix everything together. I prefer to mix by hand so you can help ease the juices out of the tomato but with a spoon is also good.
Slice up the basil and add to the bowl. Gently toss then leave the salad to sit around 20 minutes, ideally, before eating to let the flavors mingle (you can also leave a little longer in the fridge).
Traditionally this uses unsalted bread, but ciabatta, sourdough or a baguette would all work as well.
Red onion is the best fit flavor wise as it becomes more sweet (plus the color is a nice contrast), but shallot or a sweet onion would work as an alternative.
Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 299mg | Potassium: 375mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1092IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg