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RECIPE: Panzanella

Rustic bread salad with vegetables from the garden. Originally Tuscan, this typical peasant bread salad. But because it's so delicious in the summer and comes from Inigo's and my favorite cookbook ("The Gastronomy of Italy" by Anna del Conte), I'm happy to give you the recipe. You can vary endlessly with the vegetables available. Whether you make it in the Netherlands or at our campsite this summer, you will enjoy it. Provided you take enough time to let all the flavors meld together nicely. For 4 persons, you'll need the following ingredients:


½ red onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 fresh red chili pepper, halved and deseeded

1 yellow bell pepper (preferably yellow for the color)

2 large ripe firm tomatoes

½ cucumber

2 handfuls of fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon of capers

200 grams of unsalted bread, crusts removed

3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, preferably Ligurian

salt


Mix the olive oil with the garlic and the chili pepper and let it sit for 1 to 3 hours. Place the onion rings in a bowl and pour the red wine vinegar over them. Let this also sit for at least 1 hour. Remove the seeds from the bell pepper (it's even tastier when roasted in the oven, but then the recipe is no longer camping-friendly), the tomatoes, and the cucumber, preserving the tomato juice including the seeds. Cut all the vegetables into pieces and mix them with the tomato juice along with the capers and basil. Add the onion rings and reserve the vinegar. Remove the garlic and peppers from the olive oil and mix the latter well with the vinegar. Pour the dressing over the salad and season with salt. Cut the bread into 2 cm cubes and toss them through the salad until everything is well mixed. Add extra vinegar and salt to taste. Let it sit for another hour and: buon appetito!


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