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Panzanella Recipe

Panzanella

Graham

Recipe by  

Panzanella is a dish with its origins in the Tuscany region of Italy. Some of the best dishes in the world have their origins in peasant cooking and Panzanella is no exception, using stale bread as one of the main ingredients.

I don't know about you, but we rarely have any left-over ciabatta or focaccia just lying about! However, you can use fresh bread, cut it in cubes and toast it lightly to achieve the same result. The version of this recipe that I present here uses chicken breasts mixed in with the fresh, zingy salad. You can, however, miss out the chicken and serve the 'naked' salad with fish, or any other white meat (or as a vegetarian meal)

      Preparation Time: 15 Minutes + waiting


Ingredients for Panzanella

If you are not familiar with any ingredients, please check our International Cooking Terms page.
US Imperial Measurements  UK Imperial Measurements  Metric Measurements

Currently displaying quantities in US Imperial Measurements
to serve 4:
2
cooked chicken breasts
½ loaf
ciabatta or focaccia chopped into cubes
1
small cucumber
1
large red onion
 
tomatoes
5 tablespoons
extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons
red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons
capers
½ tablespoon
caster (superfine) sugar
12 leaves
fresh basil
 
sea salt and pepper

 

How to Cook Panzanella

  1. If you can't get cooked chicken breasts, just buy fresh and use our simple Grilled Chicken Portions recipe, then allow the chicken to cool. And if your bread isn't stale (2 to 3 days old), place the cubes into an oven dish or on a baking sheet and toast them lightly in the oven - 5 minutes at Mk 6 - 400ºF - 200ºC should be enough.
  2. Chop the chicken into small, bite-size pieces. Peel and roughly chip the cucumber, tomatoes and onion. Place them in a large bowl along with the chicken, and then add the bread. Toss these ingredients together with your hands and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the olive oil, red wine vinegar, capers (drained), sugar and salt and pepper together. (As long as you are thorough, you can use a spoon or fork to achieve this - it's just a question of blending the ingredients).
  4. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss the ingredients together. Leave the salad to sit in the fridge for a few hours (or even overnight if you want to prepare it in advance). When you are ready to serve it, the bread should be moist, but not soggy. Just before serving, roughly tear the basil leaves, add these to the bowl and give it a final mix.

 
Graham GRAHAM'S HOT TIP:
If you want to add a touch of "luxury" to your Panzanella, slice half a dozen black olives and add them to the mix.
 
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