Panzanella (well, sort of)

Roast chicken, fried potatoes and panzanella

I don’t usually have the right sort of stale bread to make panzanella, neither do I usually have a glut of tomatoes but at the weekend, I had both.

Panzanella is a bread and tomato salad from Tuscany which uses up stale bread brilliantly.

There seems to be any number of recipes, not unusual with Italian food, but the essential ingredients, apart from the bread and tomatoes, appear to be olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, something salty like capers, onions and black pepper. Cucumber is often included, as are anchovies and peppers, either fresh or preserved in some way.

There is so much variation

I used a mixture of chopped red, yellow and green tomatoes, chopped shallots and garlic, some finely chopped green chilli, chopped pickled mild red peppers, chopped green olives, olive oil and red wine vinegar, which I mixed together with salt and pepper and chunks of stale sourdough bread and left to macerate in the fridge for a few hours before adding a handful of torn basil leaves before serving.

It can be eaten by itself, but I thought that it would be a great side dish for a simple roast chicken and some fried potatoes.


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