Panzanella

  
Since I’ve become a baker I’ve (as you’d expect) been inundated with left over loaves. Aside from donating to my missus who is an absolute bread fiend and slicing and freezing them all for toast, I’ve been trying to use them up for my dinner. 

Like all bread based recipes, they link back to when times were tough. Soaking up juices and bulking out a meagre meal. Mine isn’t quite like that, but a great summery way to use up stale bread. And it must be stale. 

The recipe I used is from Jamie’s Italy. I really great starting point on most Italian recipes, when it come to Italian food Jimbo does know shit. 

Don’t bother making this with unripe tomatoes or poor quality bread. Your outcome will be shit. 

To feed 2 fat bastards or 4 normal people:

  • 200g good quality stale bread
  • 600g ripe tomatoes
  • 1 small handful of capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 8 anchovy fillets
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced 
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Big bunch Basil 
  • Tabasco

First off, get your peppers roasted. Either hold them over your gas hob with a pair of yonks until the skins blacken, or put them under the grill for the same result. Most importantly wrap them in a little foil parcel for 20 minutes so the skin peeles of like a dream. Delia once said that life’s too short to roast and peel a pepper. She’s wrong. 

I used my grill to blacken my peppers, and once I’d finished I tore my bread into inch pieces onto a roasting tray and popped it in the oven (once turned off) to dry while I made the salad. 

Finely chop your anchovies and put a bowl with the capers, and a few tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Lump up your tomatoes and put them In a colander/sieve above your anchovies. Give the tomatoes a generous pinch of salt and squash with your hands. Leave this for 10 minutes and it will put beautiful tomato juice into your dressing. 

Once you’ve peeled your peppers, cut into slithers the width of your little finger. A little smaller if you’ve got sausage fingers. Add these to the dressing with your onion, bread and tomatoes, a good glug of olive oil and toss together with your hands. 

You’re nearly there. Rip-in shit loads of basil and give it another toss. It’s really important to taste. Add salt, pepper, more oil and vinegar If necessary and if your feeling a bit spicy a few splashes of Tabasco. 

Serve in a big bowl in the sunshine. Something like this:

  

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