Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Panzanella Salad

Panzanella is a classic Tuscan salad made with stale bread and vine ripe, gloriously fresh tomatoes. Since there are still so many tomatoes in the garden make this tonight. Use your best extra virgin olive oil and your best red wine vinegar - just look how green and rich that Mandranova olive oil is! This salad is crazy addictive and is perfect for an end of summer meal.

You will need:

For 2 people

  • a few slices of stale bread - I used a day old multi-grain bun chopped up into cubes
  • 3-4 tbsp exceptional extra virgin olive oil - I used Mandranova Cerasuola for the croutons
  • 1 clove garlic - minced finely
  • salt and pepper
  • 2-3 very ripe garden tomatoes - chopped into large chunks
  • 4 small English cucumbers - peeled partially and sliced on the diagonal - or 1/2 regular English cucumber.
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion - about a quarter of an onion or as much as you like
  • 10-15 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic - crushed
  • 1/2 tsp honey dijon mustard or plain dijon
  • 2 tbsp good red wine vinegar
  • 5 tbsp exceptional extra virgin olive oil - I used Mandranova Nocellara from Sicily
  • salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: heat a small pan and add chopped bread and a generous amount of good extra virgin olive oil. Toss and let bread start to toast. Toast for a couple of minutes, then add chopped garlic and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Toss periodically to avoid burning and once they are toasted to your liking remove from heat. Set aside.

Step 2: chop tomatoes, cucumbers and onions. Add to a large bowl along with fresh basil leaves.

Step 3: in a small jar mix ingredients for vinaigrette: garlic, mustard, red wine vinegar and very good olive oil (look at the color of this oil!) I then salt and crack fresh pepper over the salad.

Step 4: add dressing and toasted bread to the tomatoes and toss. 


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