I’ve been very remiss in not blogging for ages so I thought,as British tomatoes are in season (just) and now available, I’d share one of my favourite summer salad recipes.  It also ties in with my passion for not wasting food as it uses stale bread!  Bread is listed as one of the food stuffs that is most often thrown away and whilst there are loads of pudding ideas for using up bread, it’s refreshing to have a lovely savoury recipe instead.

Of course, if you haven’t time to make this, you could always cube the stale bread and freeze it for use later either in this salad, or for breadcrumbs.

Panzanella – serves 4-6

  • 1kg ripe tomatoes
  • 2 thick slices of stale white bread
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red onion, very thinly sliced
  • salt and black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 generous tablespoon capers, roughly chopped
  • 12 black olives (optional)
  • bunch of basil – [a couple of pinches of dried oregano works well if you don’t have basil
  • bunch of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Roughly chop the tomatoes (I don’t bother skinning and deseeding them, too much faff) – make sure you save all the juices.

Cut the slices of bread into chunks and put them in a large bowl with most of the tomatoes (leave a few for finishing the salad) and the collected tomato juice.  Mix the crushed garlic with the oil and vinegar, season and pour this over the bread.

Put a layer of the bread and tomato mix on a large plate followed by some capers, onions, olives and herbs. Repeat until all the mix is used up.

Leave the panzanella for at least an hour to let the different tastes soak into the bread before you eat. Add a few more leaves of fresh basil and the remaining chopped tomato just before serving.

Hope you enjoy the panzanella and let’s hope we have a lovely, sunny summer (with rain at night to water the plants, if that’s not too much to ask!).