STALE BREAD SHOULD NEVER GO TO WASTE AGAIN! Panzanella is a Tuscan summer specialty based on bread and tomatoes – and it’s absolutely delicious! It’s a very healthy meal, full of fresh ingredients, low in calories and rich in nutrients.
Just the process of making it will make you feel like an Italian God/ess, as the aromas and colors fill the plate.
I’ve found inspiration for this recipe in the River Cottage VEG Cookbook by a man with a very complicated last name, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
|Prep Time||20 minutes|
|Passive Time||20 minutes (skip this if in a hurry)|
- 500 g ripe tomatoes
- stale bread, e.g. half a baguette
- 1 cucumber quartered, deseeded and thickly sliced
- 50 g black olives
- 1 handful fresh basil
- 1 small red onion quartered and thinly sliced
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil organic and cold-pressed
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar apple cider vinegar works really well
- salt and pepper to taste
- TAKE THE RIPEST TOMATOES (leaving 2 untouched for now) and crush them in a bowl using your hands. Still using your hands, separate the skin and seeds from the tomato pulp and juice by squeezing the tomatoes through a sieve. This can take about 10 minutes of work with your hands - and will end up creating a thick tomato sauce. Savor the softness of your hands afterwards, tomatoes are great for the skin.
- ONCE THE TOMATO SAUCE IS DONE, tear bite sized chunks of your stale bread and add them to the same bowl. Add olive oil and vinegar, stir well.
- ADD CUCUMBER, BASIL, black olives and onion. Cut up the leftover untouched tomatoes and add them too.
- ADD SALT & PEPPER, then stir again and let the flavor mix for about 20 minutes. This step can be skipped if you are in a hurry, but don't if you're not - the infusion of the flavors is what will make the Panzanella taste truly divine.
I sometimes add just a few bits of grated old goat's cheese on top - but even without it, the flavors are absolutely spectacular.