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aka Panzanella. This lovely Italian bread salad originates from Tuscany, and is perfect for these lazy spring days that feel far too much like summer. This is just a rough version I threw together with what was in the fridge, no exact measurements I’m afraid. It’s more akin to a bruschetta mix than to a ‘traditional’ panzanella, but everyone seems to have a different recipe, so I’m not overly concerned.

Take a look at these gorgeous tomatoes. The warm weather is back, and you can taste the flavours seeping back into the watery bland tomatoes of winter. In the background, sadly wilted basil, and some bread – Ideally use a well-crusted Italian loaf, seeing as I didn’t have that on hand, ordinary vietnamese bread rolls will do.

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Chop/dice everything up! Clockwise from bottom right, tomato, tomato innards (removed so it didn’t get too watery), minced garlic and basil. Some finely chopped Spanish onion and diced cucumbers would be lovely too!

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Shred the bread (hey that rhymes) into chunks about the size of your tomato pieces. Drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil over sparingly, and grind a little pepper and sea-salt. Toss up, and place it under the grill to golden-ify.

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 We start assembling the salad now. First the golden-ified croutons.

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Then the tomatoes.

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Then the basil.

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Then the garlic. And finally (my favourite part) a splash of a good balsamic (I could drink this stuff straight…) and a slightly smaller splash of extra-virgin olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

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Mix it all up, letting the flavours meld and combine – I aimed to let it rest for 10 minutes, but by the 8 minute mark…

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I couldn’t resist anymore. *chomp!*

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This also gets a tick for Culinary Cheating – 1 chopping board, 1 bowl, 1 knife and lots of vegetable goodness.

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