Tomato & White Bean Panzanella recipe image

Print Tomato & White Bean Panzanella

At its simplest, a traditional Italian panzanella is a way of turning stale bread into salad by mixing it with tomatoes, vinegar and oil. We’re aping stale bread by drying it in the oven for a while. The tomatoes and oil soak into the bread and revive it. Any extra ingredients are open for debate. We’ve added everything that’s good towards the end of summer.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1 bread rolls or thick slice of bread
  • 300g mixed tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely sliced
  • 1 tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • 1 mini cucumber or ½ a large one
  • 125g mozzarella
  • 60g black olives
  • 20g basil
  • 1 fresh chilli
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160˚C/Gas 3. Place the capers in a mug of cold water until you need them, it helps purge some of the salt.
  2. Tear the bread roll into rough 2cm chunks. Place on a baking tray. Slide them into the oven for 15 minutes to dry out and colour a little.
  3. Cut the tomatoes into an interesting mix of wedges and slices. Add them to a mixing bowl with the garlic, shallot, beans, vinegar and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, mix well and leave to macerate.
  4. Halve the cucumber lengthways. Remove the soft seedy core with the tip of a teaspoon. Cut into 1cm angled slices.
  5. Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Drain and coarsely chop the capers. Roughly tear the mozzarella.
  6. Add the cucumber, capers, olives and bread to the mixing bowl. Tear in the basil leaves and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper to your taste.
  7. Divide between 2 plates and scatter over the mozzarella. If you fancy a little heat to your salad, deseed and finely chop the chilli. Sprinkle over as much or as little as you like.
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