Panzanella or panmolle is a Tuscan salad of bread and tomatoes popular in the summer, although the Panzanella was based on onions, not tomatoes, until the 20th century. Now the modern panzanella is generally made of stale bread soaked in water and squeezed dry, it is traditionally accompanied with tomatoes, sometimes also onions and basil and dressed with olive oil and vinegar.
Other ingredients added can include lettuce, olives, mozarella, white wine, capers, anchovies, celery, carrots, red wine, red onion, cucumber, tuna, parsley, boiled eggs, mint, bell peppers, lemon juice, and garlic although the purists of Tuscany and Florence often disapprove. The 16th-century artist and poet Bronzino sings the praises of onions with oil and vinegar served with toast and, a page later, speaks of a salad of onions, purslane, and cucumbers, this is often interpreted as one of the original description of panzanella.
650 g mixed tomatoes (cherry, kumato, heirloom, roma, oxheart), sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed with the back of a knife
3 large slices stale ciabatta or Panini tossed with olive oil , seasoned and baked in a hot oven until golden
60 ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
55 g (⅓ cup) caper berries
¼ cup basil leaves, larger leaves torn, plus extra, to serve
Salt and pepper
Toss tomatoes, garlic and ½ tsp salt in a bowl. Add oil, caper berries and basil, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with extra basil leaves. Add in the crusty bread and allow the juices to soak in for about 20 minutes before serving.
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