Panzanella -Tuscan bread and tomato salad

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November 4, 2016

As my sister said to me - 'who would have thought bread and tomatoes could be so delicious'.? Actually, it wasn’t a surprise to me because so many things start with a holy trinity of good bread, tomatoes and punchy olive oil. The secret is in the bread rather than the toms. The wrong bread and it will degenerate into pap. Tasty pap but pap nonetheless.

Almond Thief sourdough works, as does Baker Toms ciabatta or focaccia. Remove any tough crust and tear into pieces. Leave somewhere warm to dry out overnight. +

If, when you've finished, the salad seems a bit dry, don't despair - juts add a little more passata, oil and vinegar..


1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

2 red peppers (roasted and peeled)

20 cherry tomatoes (halved)

400mls passata

300g stale country bread - torn into bite sized pieces

6 tbsp wine vinegar

1 tbsp capers

8 anchovies, roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

20 pitted black olives - halved

10 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

small red chilli - finely chopped (optional)

a couple of handfuls of sugar snap peas (or similar - asparagus also works) quickly blanched

bunch of fresh basil - leaves stripped and seperated

Ditto rocket


1It's very simple. Mix everything together, apart from the bread and green bits . Check seasoning and punchiness.

2Gently fold into the stale bread.

3Leave to stand and get acquainted for half an hour.

4Add more oil and vinegar if it still seems a bit dry.

5Add the basil, rocket and peas/beans and serve.