We all know that Jamie Oliver”s finer moments are when he scoops things out of the fridge, squelches them up in his hands and then serves it up on a plate… and Panzanella (from Jamie’s Italy) is definitely one of his finer moments!
Trust me this isn’t a made up word. It’s meaning comes from Pane (bread) mixed with oils, herbs and tomatoes. It’s a yummy rustic Italian bread salad and one of those recipes which started life as a way of using up leftovers but now takes on a life of its own – bellissima!
The great thing about Jamie’s recipes is that they help you get the basics down, then you can put your own flavour on them – so here is my version of Jamie’s Panzanella – A no-fuss, “get your hands in there”, summer taste of Italy.
What’s more, in the true spirit of using up your leftovers, you can warm through in a pan, add a bit of vegetable stock and blitz to make a gorgeously warming soup – perfect for a hearty lunchtime appetite.
3 red peppers – de-seeded and roughly chopped into strips or chunks
2 x punnets of cherry tomatoes – try to mix the types to add a bit of interest to the salad
1 handfull of basil
1 3x day old french stick (or any partly stale rustic bread)
1 cup good extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Firstly put the chopped peppers on a baking tray, smother in olive oil and roast for about 20 minutes
In the mean time, halve all your tomatoes and add to a large bowl – lash with salt and stir
Break up the bread into bite size chunks and set to one side
Add the oil, vinegar and lemon juice to a jug and stir well
Then for the fun bit (make sure your hands are clean!):
Add the bread, basil and peppers with all the oil to the bowl of tomatoes.
Pour over the oil mixture and then squelch!
Make sure all the bread is covered with the juices and leave to soak it all up for at least 10 minutes.
Serve on it’s own or as a side dish… and don’t forget to save some for your soup mixture