Salads, quick chicken recipes and throw-together pastas which have featured more than once because let’s face it, there are few things as absolutely delicious as a good Panzanella salad. Amirite? I used the flavours of my other favourite, Caprese salad, to keep things simple but honestly, you could add just about anything to this classic bread salad. Cucumber, olives, peppers, anchovies, red onion. You name it, it will work. The key is to use some day-old bread and give it a quick toast in a hot pan/in the oven so it just crisps around the edges. This will allow it to absorb the dressing beautifully. I love serving this salad with lemony chicken or as part of a big Mezze-style spread and it makes for a pretty fine lunch too!
Caprese Panzanella salad
- 4 cups bread (I used day-old baguette), sliced into bite-sized chunks
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 large, ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- large handful fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 cups bocconcini (fresh mozzarella), quartered
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°c and place the bread on a baking sheet.
- Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt then place in the oven. Allow to bake until golden brown and toasted.
- Remove and set aside.
- Place the tomatoes, half of the basil and the bocconcini in a bowl then add the zest and lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper. Stir and allow to stand for 5 minutes. This will allow the natural juices of the tomatoes to be released which will add more flavour to the dressing.
- Add the bread to the salad along with the remaining basil and stir to combine.
- Tip the salad onto a serving platter and serve immediately.
- Make ahead tip: Make the tomato mixture and toast the bread up to 2 hours before serving. Simply combine the components and serve.