Toasted bread salad with basil and tomatoes recipe image

Print Toasted bread salad with basil and tomatoes

A bit of toasting gives this salad a smokiness and crunch that combats the sliminess that can spoil traditional panzanella (Italian bread salad). This should be eaten immediately, before it has time to get soggy. As with all raw tomato dishes, complete ripeness is key to perfection. This a lovely light summer lunch or side. It could be embellished with tuna, green beans, mozzarella or olives.

Ingredients

  • 1 ciabatta loaf, ripped into chunks
  • 600g well-flavoured tomatoes, cut in halves or quarters
  • 120ml olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tsp capers, soaked in cold water for 20 mins, then squeezed dry
  • 3 anchovies
  • Small bunch basil leaves
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Bake the ciabatta chunks in for about 5 minutes, until toasted but still soft in the middle.
  2. Squeeze the juice from about a third of the tomatoes into a food processor, along with any juice that escaped when you cut them up.
  3. Add the oil, vinegar, garlic, capers and anchovies and blitz to make a dressing. Check the seasoning.
  4. Put the toasted ciabatta in a bowl with the remaining tomatoes, the shredded basil and the dressing and toss well. Drizzle with good olive oil and serve.
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