This Week's Recipe: Panzanella (Bread Salad)

Why Bread Salad?
An old tradition of using up stale bread in a salad of sweet tomatoes and tangy dressings. Although this tradition is far from new – tracing back to the 16th Century, it seems as if it may be making its way into mainstream foodie fashion.

This salad doesn't have an actual 'recipe' instead a suggestion of key ingredients - dry bread, tomatoes, an acidic dressing and good quality olive oil.

This is a perfect lunch salad. I like to make mine with a mixture of tomatoes, cucumber, and a salad made of picked flat leaf parsley and finely chopped dill, finished off with a tangy sour dressing made of white and red wine vinegar.

For the key ingredient; the bread. You need a bread that is crunchy or dry – I like to mix my bread with plenty of olive oil and a little truffle oil and bake it in the oven. While you eat the salad you will be delighted with crunchy crouton like bread in some bites and others that have started to soak up the dressing and are tangy and chewy.

1 bunch flat leaf parsley
500g small tomatoes such as cherry, tear drop or kumato, cut in half
1 tablespoon dill, chopped
1 lebanese cucumber, cut into quarters and sliced
2 ciabatta rolls
1 brown onion, finely sliced
¼ cup +2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon truffle oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 180°C fan forced. Tear bread into bite size pieces and place in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, ¼ cup of olive oil and truffle oil.

Lay the bread on a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes or until dry and crunchy.

In the meantime toss the tomatoes, cucumber, dill and parsley in a bowl.

For the dressing heat a large frying pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook on medium low for 10-15 minutes or until they are translucent. In a separate bowl whisk together the mustard, vinegars and 1 tablespoon of water. Add the onions while they are still hot and season with salt and pepper.

To serve toss the salad with the bread and dressing.

Serves 4 as a side
Bon Appetite

Note: This salad is delicious dressed at the last minute for crunchy bread or 10-15 minutes before serving for a variety of crunchy bread and tasty, chewy vinegar and olive oil soaked bread.



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