A Tuscan-Style tomato-and-bread salad, panzanella is the perfect summer dish. It’s light and tangy but packed with flavours, easy to assemble and impossible to get wrong. What’s more, it requires no stove or oven (unless you want to quick-fry the bread for about 5 minutes, if you like it extra crispy) and tastes even better after a rest, as the bread soaks all the juices and the flavours settle. Sold? We thought so. Here’s how to make it.
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- 4 big or medium size ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- A handful of basil leaves and/or other mixed leaves
- 2 1”-thick slices round country-style bread, like a sourdough loaf
- 1 red onion or 3 shallots, sliced and thinly cut
- 1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1½” pieces
- A generous glug of olive oil
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Place the red onion in a bowl and add one tablespoon of white wine vinegar, then whisk to combine. Season dressing with salt and lots of pepper, and set aside.
Take the sliced bread and cut off the crust, then place it in an oven dish and pour a combination of 1 tablespoons of water and one of vinegar over it. Make sure you don’t soak it completely -- a gentle drizzle will do. Once the slices have gone soft, start tearing them one by one in the plate you’ll serve your panzanella in.
Drain the red onion, then add it to the plate with the bread, alongside the cucumber and the tomatoes. Shred some basil leaves over it (or, if you fancy, parsley, dill or mint), then toss to evenly coat and help the bread soak up some of the dressing. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed.
Serve, and pretend you’re in Tuscany.
Last photo: https://instagram.com/whatyoumaking