Tomato and Peach Panzanella

Traditional panzanella is made with stale, dried bread that’s given new life thanks to a dressing of olive oil, vinegar and tomato juices. It’s seen many variations over time and this is my seasonal summer take. Tomatoes are the star, so if you can, get your hands on heirloom varieties, in a range of colours, shapes and sizes. I’ve also used peaches, but the beauty of this salad is that you can incorporate anything you have lying about at home, making sure no food goes to waste. For a lower FODMAP version, try strawberries instead of peaches and add in a handful of salty feta to help balance the sweetness.

To remove any chance of mushy bread (which can often happen with gluten-free bread especially), bake your chunks of leftover bread quickly in the oven before using – this adds extra golden crispy bits and flavour.

Serves 4

Ingredients

300g stale or fresh bread, torn into chunks (I used gluten free)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
a small bunch of fresh basil
2 tablespoons capers
500g ripe tomatoes, sliced
2 ripe peaches, stones removed and sliced into wedges
½ medium cucumber, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar
sea salt and black pepper

Method

Heat your oven to 200C. Spread the chunks of bread onto a baking tray and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Bake until they are dried out and pale golden brown at the edges, about 10 minutes. Let cool.

Blend most of the basil (reserving a few leaves for garnish) in a food processor with the oil and capers. Alternatively, you can finely chop the basil and capers together by hand and stir them into the olive oil.

Place the sliced tomatoes, peaches, cucumber and bread into a large bowl and add the vinegar and about a third of the basil and caper oil. Season and mix with your hands to make sure everything is combined and the bread coated. Leave for five minutes.

Spoon the salad onto a serving platter and drizzle over a bit more of the basil and caper oil. Garnish with basil leaves and a sprinkle of salt and serve immediately, with any remaining oil on the side.

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