Panzanella – bread salad


1/2 loaf day-old french or italian bread
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2″ dice
1-2 tbsp capers
1/2 cup finest olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Coarse salt and pepper to taste
3 cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into 1/2″ dice
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 bell pepper, red, yellow, or green, cored, seeded, and cut lengthwise into very thin strips

How to prepare

Cut the bread into 1/2″-thick slices and remove the crusts. Set aside. Mix together in a bowl the tomatoes, capers, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. In a wide, shallow bowl or large platter make a layer of bread slices. Scatter the cucumbers, onion, and bell pepper strips over the bread. Pour a full ladle of the tomato mixture over the bread and vegetables. Continue layering until all the ingredients are used up, ending with vegetables and tomato mixture. Set the dish aside at room temperature or in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. It is important for the bread to absorb the liquid from the vegetables and tomato mixture. If the dish seems too dry, sprinkle on more oil and vinegar. Panzanella can be made a day ahead. Serves 6.

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