Tuscan Panzanella

Tuscan style tomato and bread chopped salad is popular in the Summer in Italy. A perfect blend of flavours.

Use dried (not stale) bread and salted tomatoes to make the best version of this classic Italian bread salad. 

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds (1.1kg) mixed tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3/4 pound (340g) ciabatta or rustic sourdough bread, cut into 1 1/2–inch cubes (about 6 cups bread cubes)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • Half a cucumber sliced
  • 2 tbs white wine vinegar
  • Salt & pepper
  • Handful basil leaves, roughly torn

Method

Place tomatoes in a colander set over a bowl and season with salt. Toss to coat. Set aside at room temperature to drain, tossing occasionally and leave for around 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and adjust rack to center position. In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with extra virgin olive oil. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crisp and firm but not browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Add the tomatoes to a large bowl along with the red onion and cucumber. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and add the white wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the toasted bread and basil leaves. Toss everything to coat. Let rest for 30 minutes before serving, tossing occasionally until dressing is completely absorbed by bread. Buon Appetito…

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