I have finally returned from my travels this summer and have had some of the most incredible food. This last trip was to Naples. I came home with a suitcase full of cheese, capers, pasta, oregano, figs and proper Neapolitan bread. Now, this bread is full of flavour, crusty and only found in the region. It also goes stale after a day or two so after enjoying it to mop up sauces here’s how I used it.
First chop tomatoes, if you can get plum or cherry they have the best flavour, if not tomatoes on the vine will do. Then add some minced garlic, basil and a drop of oregano. Dress with olive oil and set aside.
Now we need to grill the bread. When my family made this they used the barbecue to toast the bread, which as you can imagine adds even more flavour, but at home the oven grill will do. Slice the bread to the thickness you like and place under a hot grill.
Once toasted rub with garlic and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Now all that’s left to do is simply top with the tomato, be generous!
Now the next day the bread is already stale. To make panzanella you need a stale bread, sourdough is best. This is traditionally a Tuscan salad using bread and tomatoes.
What you need:
Stale sourdough bread
Red onion (if like me you had none in the house white will do)
Extra virgin olive oil
A few capers
First, chop the bread into cubes. In a separate bowl mince some garlic, add the oil and vinegar untill you have created a dressing to your taste. Then pour over the bread. It will soak up the liquid and become juicy and fragrant. Leave for 30 mins to an hour.
After allowing the bread to soak up the dressing add the chopped tomatoes, cucumber, onion and capers. Then get a nice big handful of fresh basil and tear into the salad.
Give the salad a good mix making sure all the flavours and combined.