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Tomato Panzanella

This is our version of the Tuscan bread salad, where the bread is traditionally soaked in the salad. We find the result too soggy so instead serve the salad with sourdough croutons. Traditionally made with the ‘pane sciocco’ the famous unsalted Tuscan bread. Panzanella doesn't keep well as the croutons loose their crispness, so to enjoy crispy croutons, serve as soon as you have mixed the croutons into the salad.

Panzanella Salad

Dietary: Vegan

Serves 4-6 as a side salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 800g ripe tomatoes
  • 1 medium banana shallot, sliced thinly (or ½ red onion)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • pinch of salt

Croutons

  • 100g open textured bread such as sourdough or ciabatta, torn into rough bite sized chunks
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, cut in half

Dressing

  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 8-10 Kalamata or black olives, pitted and cut in half
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves, reserve a few for garnishing

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C° fan.
  2. Place the sliced shallot in a bowl with the tablespoon of red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt, and mix well to combine. Set aside for 15 minutes to slightly pickle.
  3. Place the bread pieces onto a baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Using your hands, turn the bread over to evenly coat with the oil. You may need a little extra.
  4. Bake the croutons for 10-15 minutes until toasted but still soft and not completely dry.
  5. Allow the croutons to cool and then rub each crouton all over with the cut side of the garlic.
  6. Cut the tomatoes into irregular chunks and slices and place into a mixing bowl. A combination of shapes is more attractive than uniformly diced pieces.
  7. Make the dressing by mixing the vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil, capers and olives together.
  8. Pour the dressing over the tomatoes, add in the croutons, and tear the basil leaves over. Mix gently to combine all the ingredients. It's easiest to use your hands to do this. Taste and season if necessary.
  9. Tip the salad into a serving dish and garnish with the reserved basil leaves.

Italian Tomato Panzanella Salad


Find more inspiration for seasonal tomatoes in Rachel's September 2017 column in Vegetarian Living magazine.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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