Panzanella recipe – summer bread salad by Carl Legge
At the heart of The Permaculture Kitchen is the idea of minimising waste and to make sure you use seasonal ingredients. As bakers, you’ll have bits left over that are a shame to waste. You can make them in to breadcrumbs or croutons in the residual heat of a bake which you can freeze or keep dried.
You can also use the bread as the foil for some big flavours in a seasonal salad. These salads are also a great way to use small harvests or leftover vegetables. Here’s a recipe for a summer salad, the book has details how to make an autumn/winter salad too.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 300-400g old bread roughly broken into bite-sized pieces
- Red wine or sherry vinegar
- 500g-1kg ripe tomatoes, preferably mixed colours and shapes
- 1 red onion, peeled and cut in half from root to top
- A big bunch of basil
Suggestions for other ingredients
- Salad leaves, cultivated or foraged
- Grilled peppers, cut into strips
- Blanched broad or French beans
- Capers, roughly chopped
- Anchovies, whole or chopped
- Grilled tuna or salmon, broken into pieces or flakes
- Grilled or fried bacon, pancetta, chorizo
- Celery hearts finely sliced
- Artichokes, boiled and sliced or grilled
- Radishes, chopped or sliced
- Cheeses, parmesan, mozzarella, goat’s cheese, grilled halloumi or vegetarian alternatives
- Fruit such as strawberries, peaches, nectarines
- More red wine or sherry vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 (or more) garlic clove, peeled and crushed with a little salt or finely grated
- Edible flowers (for example: calendula, chives, wild garlic, thyme) to garnish
Moisten the bread cubes in about 50ml of the vinegar, water or a mixture of the two in the bowl you intend to serve your salad. You can then prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Chop the tomatoes and add them to the bread.
Slice the red onion into very fine half rings. A mandolin is perfect for this, or you can use a very sharp knife or fine blade of a food processor. It’s important that the slices are fine or the taste will be too strong. Add these to the bread and tomatoes.
From here the bread, tomatoes and onions can rest while you prepare everything else.
Blanch any vegetables you have that need some cooking to tenderise them and refresh in cold water to stop them cooking. Drain and pat dry and cut into bite sized pieces.
Slice or chop or tear the other vegetables attractively.
Add the prepared vegetables and garlic to the salad and give a gentle mix together with your hands.
Tear the basil and add this to the salad. Season with salt and pepper and dress with some extra virgin olive oil. Toss gently with your hands. Taste and check the seasoning, add more vinegar, oil or salt and pepper if you need.
Garnish with your flowers if you have them. Serve and enjoy your feast.[caption id="attachment_2195" align="alignnone" width="680"] Carl Legge is a self taught cook, forager and home brewer. He lives with his wife Debs on a smallholding on the Llŷn Peninsula in North Wales. He has a passion to help people to cook fresh, seasonal and sustainable food.[/caption]