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Panzanella

Panzanella – Italian tomato and bread salad

After last night’s decadent cheese fondue, we had leftover bread which I thought would be perfect for making panzanella – a Florentine salad of bread and tomatoes.

Deliciously fresh and tasty, it made a perfect, and filling, lunch.  It’s important that the tomatoes you buy smell of tomatoes when you buy them. Tasteless tomatoes = tasteless salad.  Equally important is olive oil that you like.  There’s no hiding poor quality produce in this salad.

Ingredients: (for two)

  1. Day-old bread – we had ciabatta
  2. 1 punnet baby roma tomatoes or 2 large tomatoes but into bite sized pieces
  3. 1 clove garlic, minced
  4. 1 small red onion, finely sliced
  5. 1 small cucumber, peeled and diced
  6. 1 ball buffalo mozzarella cheese (I don’t think this is traditional but we fancied some cheese in the salad)
  7. handful of freshly basil leaves
  8. 2 tbs red wine vinegar
  9. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  10. Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Cut or tear the bread and place on a wide, shallow bowl in one layer
  2. In another bowl, mix all the other ingredients together.  Adjust the vinegar and salt and pepper to taste if required
  3. If you have time, pop the tomato mixture in the fridge for an hour to allow the flavours to combine
  4. If your bread is really dry, then spoon some of the juices from the tomato mix over it first, otherwise just ladle the tomato mix over the bread
  5. Toss the salad after the bread has had some time to absorb some of those delicious juices
  6. Serve with a cold glass of white wine