Panzanella

This salad brings back many wonderful memories from our recent trip to Sicily.   Returning back to winter and the cold weather, I started to reminisce of the beautiful tomatoes that were so abundant, sweet, juicy and inexpensive.  The many markets that we visited were full of stalls selling many different varieties.    Panzanella is a wonderful Tuscan bread salad. If you have some stale leftover bread this salad is a great way to use it up. It is simple to make and can be eaten just on it’s own or you can serve it to accompany grilled meat.

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Photography by Pietro Giordano© – Market Sicily
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Photography by Pietro Giordano© – Tomato Vendor Sicily

1/2 Loaf of Stale Crusty Bread
1 kg Cherry Tomatoes
1 Spanish Onion (thinly sliced)
1/2 bunch of Basil Leaves (roughly chopped)
1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Juice of 2 Lemons (Medium)
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

Preparation Time:     30 minutes
Serves:     4-6 people

In a large serving bowl prepare the bread by braking it into small pieces or neatly cutting it into cubes.  If you are using large tomatoes dice them into cubes.  For this dish I used cherry tomatoes and I cut them in half.  Add the sliced onion, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Combine and mix all the ingredients well using your hands.  Place the bowl in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours. This allows the bread to moisten and the flavours to infuse.

Remove the salad from the fridge and allow to stand for 15 minutes.  Add the basil leaves and mix well.  If the salad appears a little dry just add a little more olive oil to give the salad more gloss.

Enjoy!

 

17 thoughts on “Panzanella

      1. So do I. In Sicily the tomatoes were beautiful, abundant, sweet and inexpensive. Not like here. It’s almost spring and I can look forward to summer and tomatoes…. We lived on tomatoes whilst travelling. It was fantastic. Loved it…. 🙂 🙂 ❤

      2. I would love to. Please send me a photo on my email. I have had 3 years of absolute disaster. All my tomatoes have been eaten by possums. I’m seriously thinking of not planting any this summer. Now they have started to attack my Lemon Tree. Upon our return so many Lemons were half eaten. They love the skin and leave the flesh. Buggers!!! 😦 😦

      3. Our neigbors bought some bees for their garden because naturally there are almost none. At least where I live we have a lot of sudden deaths of bees and also hedghehogs.

      4. Hedgehogs??? Do you know why? A lot of people here in Melbourne have Bee Hives. I might start looking into it. A friends’ son has 5 Hives on his property. He harvests his own honey.

      5. A friend told me something that I thought was interesting. They heard that the bees get confused with the mobile phone waves and lose their direction and cannot find their way back home/hive and die??? The mobile telephone waves disrupt their sense of direction??? Not sure if this is something to think about. As now we have mobile phone telegraphs set up everywhere/globally. What do you think? Does the environment have to do with it. Soil contamination due to use of pesticides????

      6. Monocultures, traffic, air pollution, gen-manipulated plants,… There’s so much that makes the combination. Not sure about the waves, but I’ll check that. I used to work in bee research some years ago. We found out that there are some special bacteria on the petals of some plants and that bees are naturally attracted to those plants, but then I stopped working in that area. It could be a more complex problem than we ever thought but one thing is sure: it’s us who destroyed their natural habitats.

      7. It appear to be many factors. I have to say that I’m not very keen on gen-manipulated plants. If I were a bee I certainly would turn my nose up and not collect anything from that plant/plants. 🙂 Let nature do it’s work….

  1. Oh yummy! Cherry tomato is one of my favourite 😀 This recipe is perfect for me who prefers a simple way of cooking especially I don’t even need to cook anything for this salad 😉 Thanks a lot Milanka! ❤ 🙂

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