Panzanella

Bread, tomato and olive oil salad

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Preparation info

  • Serves

    6

    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Twelve

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2003

  • About

This is a rustic, country-bread salad and an excellent way of using up any leftover bread. This is the basic delicately dressed recipe, which you can adjust to suit your taste.

If possible, leave the bread cut up in thick slices out of its bag to dry out for a day or so before making the salad.

Ingredients

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) ripe tomatoes
  • 1 large red onion, halved and finely sliced
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) 2-day old white, country-style bread
  • 2 or 3 stalks of celery, about 250 g (9 oz), using pale inner stalks, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • about 10 basil leaves, roughly torn
  • about 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

Method

Cut the tomatoes into small chunks and put them into a colander sprinkled with a little salt for about 10 minutes to drain away their juices. Put the onions into a small bowl of cold water sprinkled with a little salt and a splash of vinegar.

If your bread is not already in slices, break it up into chunks and put into a bowl with enough cold water to just cover the bread. Leave it for about 10 minutes to soften. Squeeze the bread thoroughly with your hands, and finely crumble it into a large serving bowl. If the bread is not squeezed well enough, the salad will be soggy.

Put the tomatoes, drained onions, celery, parsley and the basil into a separate smaller bowl and dress with the olive oil and the vinegar, then season with salt and pepper. Mix well and then add to the bread.

Mix through well, adjusting any seasoning to taste, and serve.