Gemma spent Sunday afternoon at the Closed Shop summer event last weekend and people came back for seconds for her Panzanella!
Here's her recipe...
A fantastic use of stale bread, ripe tomatoes and anything else you fancy. Whatever bread you use make sure it is dry and gutsy-otherwise it will disintegrate! (Cat Lane campagne or Wild White Spelt is ideal.)
200g stale bread (ciabatta, sourdough or any firm rustic loaf)
600g ripe tomatoes, preferably a mix of large juicy ones and small sweet ones, roughly chopped
½ red onion, thinly sliced
2 peppers, red or yellow ideally or jarred roasted
Optional extras-any cucumber, celery hearts or baby leaves that you have in the fridge (not strictly authentic but still good!)
6 tbsp extra virgin olive/rapeseed oil
4 tbsp red wine vinegar (or good quality white wine, balsamic or sherry vinegar)
1 tbsp capers or chopped olives
1 small clove of garlic, crushed
Small bunch of fresh basil
If using fresh peppers you can either use them raw and dice, or if wish you can blacken the peppers on a gas hob, or using a kitchen blowtorch, then put in a plastic bag or a bowl covered in clingfilm and leave for 20 minutes. Once cool enough to handle the skins can be peeled/scraped of and the flesh sliced.
Tear the bread into chunks about the same size as the tomatoes, put into a salad bowl and moisten with vinegar.
Add the sliced onion, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, capers/olives and any extras to the bowl and pour over the oil. Roughly tear the basil leaves and sprinkle on top. Season to taste and toss thoroughly.
Allow to sit for between 15 minutes and an hour, then serve.
The taste tests are in - so far: 3 people thought As You Like It Panzanella (Tuscan Bread Salad) was Yummy 0 thought Yuck. What about you - Yum or Yuck?!