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Summer Panzanella

Panzanella...a wonderful way of extending a common loaf of bread into a delicious meal. Traditionally a peasants meal in Italy..but so full of flavour, we're not skimping here! This recipe calls for sourdough, but if you don't bake it, or don't have some around, any other crusty, hearty type of bread will do. 

 
Serves 4-6 as an app

Cut half a loaf/270g of Sourdough into 1" cubes. If it's a bit stale, it's even better. Put a frying pan on a burner, on medium-high heat and add 2tbsp of vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add your cubed sourdough and cook, tossing and turning often to evenly toast the bread all over. While the bread is toasting, cut 4 medium sized tomatoes/500g into wedges. Do the same with 200g/one-third of a cucumber -- cutting some into slices, and others into wedges. Combine the cucumber and tomatoes in a bowl, and once the bread is toasted and cooled down, add it too. Meanwhile, mix up your vinaigrette. To a small mason jar, add 2 cloves of garlic -- minced, 60g/4tbsp olive oil, 40g/3tbsp red wine vinegar, a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Give it all a good shake. Pour the vinaigrette over the bread, tomatoes and cucumbers, and toss thoroughly to coat. Throw in a handful of roughly torn up herbs. I used basil, but whatever your garden has to offer will be delightful. This salad will be best if you let it sit for 10 minutes before serving, to allow the flavours to fully meld with each other. It goes really nicely with a simply done, pan-fried piece of your favourite fish. Buon Appetito!