Panzanella

This recipe is based on a Tuscan rustic bread salad and has its origin in the old farmers’ traditions – perfect in the summer time. It’s a very simple and easy-to-make dish that doesn’t require any cooking and so was often was eaten on the fields where no heating was possible.

Difficulty:👍👍

Cost: ££

Serves 4 people


500g of one-day-old bread
1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced 2 ripe tomatoes, finely diced
1 cucumber, peeled and cubed
Fresh lettuce, thinly sliced
15 leaves of fresh basil, shredded (with fingers, not with a knife)
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

  1. Remove the crust of the bread then soak in room-temperature water for about 30 seconds until it becomes soft, but not completely wet. Remove from the water and squeeze it firmly between your fingers, removing as much of the water from the bread as possible. Make rough bread crumbs out of it by rubbing the bread between your hands, letting the crumbs fall into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add to the breadcrumbs the onion, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce and basil. Mix well.
  3. Add salt, pepper and a good amount of extra virgin olive oil and stir well. Put in the fridge for 1 hour. Before serving add more olive oil.

Method

  1. Remove the crust of the bread then soak in room-temperature water for about 30 seconds until it becomes soft, but not completely wet. Remove from the water and squeeze it firmly between your fingers, removing as much of the water from the bread as possible. Make rough bread crumbs out of it by rubbing the bread between your hands, letting the crumbs fall into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add to the breadcrumbs the onion, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce and basil. Mix well.
  3. Add salt, pepper and a good amount of extra virgin olive oil and stir well. Put in the fridge for 1 hour. Before serving add more olive oil.

Ingredients

500g of one-day-old bread
1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced 2 ripe tomatoes, finely diced
1 cucumber, peeled and cubed
Fresh lettuce, thinly sliced
15 leaves of fresh basil, shredded (with fingers, not with a knife)
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil


You can add chopped boiled eggs, yellow and red bell peppers, anchovies, tuna, celery and some people like to add red wine vinegar – it won’t be typically Tuscan any longer, but still delicious!

Leftover bread crusts can be made into breadcrumbs (or fed to the birds!)

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