Panzanella – A Little Touch of TuscanyIt may be a Tuscan dish, but this salad is perfect for summer in Australia. With very few ingre- dients, it relies on freshness and good quality produce to elevate it to next level deliciousness.
There are variations out there on how this dish should be constructed, but tomatoes are always the hero. They are often on our shopping list and it’s great to find new ways to use them in your cooking. With so many varieties to choose from and a bunch of vi- brant colours available in summer, feel free to adapt this recipe with the ones you like best.
Here I’ve used a mix of cherry and grape heirloom tomatoes.
A fragrant summer herb such as basil completes this salad and it’s in abundance at this time of year. Capsicum isn’t an ingredient you’d usually find in the traditional Tus- can version, but when it’s roasted it adds a lot of flavour.
The bread mixed in the vinai- grette gives the salad great texture and also soaks up the juices from the tomatoes.
Panzanella goes well as a side dish to meat or fish and can also be a perfect light lunch on its own. It’s another easy one for the recipe files that looks gorgeous on a plate and is simply delicious.
(Serves 4 people)
Olive oil, for drizzling
500g cherry and grape heirloom tomatoes (or any baby tomatoes), halved (keep small ones whole)
1 red capsicum
1⁄2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped 200g sourdough or ciabatta bread, roughly torn
1⁄2 cup fresh basil leaves
100ml extra virgin olive oil
60ml red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C;
2. Place capsicum on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Cook
in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, until the skin browns and blisters;
3. Remove and transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and stand for 15-20 minutes before peeling and discarding the skin from the capsicum;
4. Roughly chop the capsicum into bite size pieces and set aside;
5. Cut the tomatoes in half, leaving some small ones whole. Add to
the bowl, along with the capsicum, bread, olive oil, red wine vinegar, red onion and garlic;
6. Season with salt and pepper, then toss to combine and coat the ingredients with the oil/red wine vinegar;
7. Finally, scatter the basil leaves over the salad and serve.
Dana Sims is a Sydney-based food and prop stylist who has grown up in the Eastern Suburbs and loves to create delicious food for entertaining and family. She is inspired by the fresh produce we have access to here in Sydney. For ideas, recipes and styling inspiration, please check out her Instagram, @stone_and_twine.