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Recipe: Theo Randall’s Panzanella

This tasty salad is a traditional Italian way to use up leftover bread

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Try this panzanella recipe from Theo Randall at the InterContinental Park Lane, the perfect summer salad…

Recipe: Panzanella by Theo Randall at the InterContinental Park Lane

Theo Randall's Panzanella

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love this salad. It’s a traditional Italian way to use up leftover bread. There are other versions, but this is a very simple way to make it. If you only have very soft, fresh bread, try baking it for a few minutes to harden it – then it will absorb the dressing without going soggy.

Serves 4 as a starter

Ingredients

  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 loaf of dry ciabatta bread
  • 300g heritage tomatoes, preferably of mixed colours
  • 1 heaped tsp small capers in vinegar

For the dressing:

  • 400g ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • small bunch of basil
  • 150ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 heaped tsp small capers in vinegar, drained
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat a hot grill, then char the red peppers on all sides. Put them in a bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before scraping off the charred skin with a serrated knife. Rinse off the seeds, then rip the peppers into 1cm strips. Set aside.
  2. Make the dressing while the peppers are cooling in the bowl. Score the skin of the tomatoes, then put them into a pan of boiling water and leave to blanch for 1 minute. Lift into a bowl of cold water with a slotted spoon, then peel off the skins. Crush the garlic with 1 teaspoon sea salt in a pestle and mortar until smooth. Add the basil, pounding to a paste. Squeeze the peeled tomatoes to a pulp, then add to the garlic the olive oil, red wine vinegar and capers. Mix well together.
  3. Remove the crusts from the ciabatta, then cut into 2cm pieces. Put them in a large salad bowl and add the grilled peppers. Pour over the tomato dressing and toss well so the bread can soak up all the dressing.
  4. Roughly cut up the heritage tomatoes and toss with the rest of the basil leaves in a separate bowl. Spread the tomatoes and basil over the top of the salad, then add the capers. Clean up the sides of the bowl before serving.

MORE RECIPES:

Thomasina Miers’ Californian Cornbread / Dishoom’s Okra Fries


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