Now We’re Cooking: Panzanella

panzanella salad in bowlThe heat is on. British summertime and this colourful Tuscan ‘peasant’ salad scoops up fridgey leftovers, zing-fresh veg and even stale bread. Once again, we have a basic core recipe which you can then throw more or less anything you have at. Even if you are an alien in the kitchen, this is super-easy. Bread, tomatoes, red wine vinegar and olive oil… the rest you can riff.

200-300g stale bread torn into chunks (Ciabatta works best)
500g mixed tomatoes roughly chopped
1 corguette finely diced
1 red onion finely sliced
2 peppers chopped
Tin of anchovies in oil (optional)
Red wine vinegar
Fresh basil (torn)
Chilli flakes (optional)

Now the fun bit… throw it all together

Get your serving or kitchen bowl, add the tomatoes, peppers, courgette, onion and season well.
Add the anchovies and capers (and keep the oil from the anchovies).
Add 3-4 tbsp red wine vinegar (I like mine quite vinegary)
Add 5-6 tbsp oil (anchovy oil topped up with olive oil)
Throw in the bread, mix together, toss in the basil and sprinkle the chilli flakes

Pimp it? I’ve added all sorts of things to this, from the faintly exotic (octopus) to prawns, chorizo or chicken.