Summer SALAD Tuscan Tomato & Bread Salad
Just give me a ripe tomato in the summer and I am in my happy place. Panzanella is a typical Mediterranean style salad combining peasant plentiful summer ingredients: Bread, tomatoes, fresh herbs, some shallots and garlic if you wish. You can extend the ingredients and make it more filling such adding fish, cheese or keep it vegan with nuts and seeds. Great to eat on it's own as a filling lunch or to accompany any meal.
What I Love About this salad it captures the summer flavours. The bread absorbs all the salad dressing and juices of the ripe tomatoes. It is easy to make and refreshing.
I enjoyed many panzanella type salads when I lived in Cyprus. My mums favourite was with feta cheese and lots of dressing so our sourdough bread could soak it all up. This variation is usually referred to as Greek salad also.
2 ripe tomatoes
1 shallot or red onion
Juice of half a lemon or quality red wine vinegar
Ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Stale ciabatta, about a handfull of a cut piece
I tin drained sardines (optional)
Fresh basil leaves
Tear the ciabatta into random pieces put on a baking tray drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 180 C till dry and crisp.
Cut tomatoes, slice shallots, put in a bowl and season. Add the lemon juice or vinegar, olive oil, torn basil Nd give it good mix. Let it sit for 30 minutes for flavours to marinate and tomatoes to let out their juices. Add in sardines if using and the bread pieces. Give it a good stir and let it site for 30-60 minutes allowing the bread to soak up the dressing.