The humble stars of this classic Tuscan salad are fresh tomatoes and stale bread cubes. Make this salad a few hours before you want to serve it, with the flavour and texture getting better and better the longer it sits.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
- 2 yellow bell peppers
- 1 ciabatta loaf (slightly stale)
- 1kg mixed fresh tomatoes
- ¼ medium red onion
- 1 bunch fresh basil, leaves torn
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 ball fresh mozzarella
- Begin by cooking the bell peppers over a gas flame or BBQ in order to chargrill the outside until the skin turns black. Place the charred peppers into a bowl and cover with cling film for 10 minutes. Remove the cling film and pull the skin off the peppers. Slice the peppers into strips and set aside.
- Cut the ciabatta into 1-inch cubes and toss with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and place in a preheated oven at 180ºC for 10 minutes, or until crisp and golden.
- Cut the tomatoes into slices, halves and then quarters and place into a large mixing bowl. Slice the red onion and add it to the tomatoes along with the freshly torn basil leaves and cooled, sliced peppers. Finally, add the cooled ciabatta croutons.
- In a separate bowl, mix the extra-virgin olive oil with the white wine vinegar and then add a good pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the rest of the ingredients and toss to combine.
- Serve the panzanella on a large platter and tear over chunks of mozzarella and additional fresh basil leaves.