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Panzanella Salad (panzanella)

Perfect for picnics, this panzanella salad is an Italian classic. The vibrant salad recipe makes use of leftover stale bread, chopped vegetables and olive oil.

From the book

Introduction

This salad is perfect for picnics as it tastes better if set aside for a couple of hours before serving. In fact, Philip says all salads should be prepared before the meal to give them a chance to mescolare – mix, shuffle or blend.

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Ingredients

2 peperoni rossi (red peppers)
2 peperoni gialli (yellow peppers)
1 garlic clove, crushed
5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp salted capers, soaked for 30 minutes and rinsed
100g cherry or Pachino tomatoes
200g stale sourdough bread, cut into cubes
½ red onion, very thinly sliced and rinsed well in cold water
A handful of pitted black olives
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A handful of fresh basil leaves, to serve

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6.

Deseed both lots of peperoni and chop them into cubes or, even better, place them on a hot griddle until blackened and softened before peeling and slicing. Allow to cool.

Mix the garlic with the oil, vinegar and capers. Set aside.

Deseed the tomatoes and place on a baking sheet. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, toast the cubed bread.

Mix together all the chopped vegetables, the tomatoes and the toasted bread. Pour in the oil mixture, add the olives and toss well. Check the seasoning.

Cover and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Dress with the basil leaves just before serving.

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From the book: Valvona & Crolla: A Year at an Italian Table

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