Panzanella

  • 30g drained capers
  • 2 tbsp plus 60ml red wine vinegar
  • 340g ciabatta or other country-style white bread, 2 to3 days old
  • 9 ripe tomatoes (about 1kg total), cored and scored on the bottom
  • 2 tbsp plus 160ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp plus 60ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10g thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 250g drained roasted red pepper strips
  • 50g pitted kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
  • Fresh basil sprigs, for garnish
Soak the capers in two tablespoons of vinegar in a small bowl for 10 minutes. Drain.
Cut the crust off of the bread. Cut into 2-inch slices and grill, drizzling about two tablespoons of olive oil on both sides of the bread. Once grilled, cut or tear bread into 1 inch cubes and set aside.
Submerge the tomatoes into a large saucepan of boiling water for 10 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to a large bowl of ice water to cool slightly. Using a small sharp paring knife, peel off the tomato skins. Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut the tomatoes into 1-inch cubes and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk 160ml of oil, 60ml of vinegar, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the bread cubes, tomatoes, and basil; toss to combine.
Transfer half of the bread mixture to a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish.
Arrange half of the roasted peppers, drained capers, and olives over the bread mixture. Repeat layering with the remaining bread mixture, then the remaining roasted peppers, capers, and olives. Cover the salad and let stand at room temperature for flavors to blend, at least one hour.
Garnish with the basil sprigs and serve.

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