Monday, July 14, 2008

Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)

I love this salad. I first ate it in Florence and it's a brilliant way to use up leftover French bread. Serve it with grilled meat or chicken, and you have a complete meal. Don't get hung up on the proportions here. It won't matter if you use more or less of any ingredient. Make it according to your taste.

If you make this ahead, you might want to reserve the basil and add just before serving. It will turn dark otherwise. It doesn't affect the flavor, but it's prettier when the basil is bright green.

Serves 6

6 slices leftover French or Italian bread, cubed
1 tomato, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, halved lengthwise and sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
1 tbl capers
Big handful of fresh basil, chopped coursely
1 garlic clove, chopped finely
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 Cup Balsamic vinegar
1/4-1/3 Cup extra virgin olive oil

Place bread in a bowl and dampen with some water (just a sprinkling, depending on how dry your bread is). Add all remaining ingredients, mix, correct seasonings and serve.

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