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Recipe: A Panzanella Salad Is The True Italian Way To Use Leftover Bread

Lunch is sorted, thanks to Michelin Star chef Theo Randall

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The supermarket shelves are far from plentiful right now, and our weekly big shops have been stripped back to basics. That's why we've started a new series, Simple Recipes from Top Chefs, where we're going to be regularly providing you with... simple recipes from top chefs.

In this instalment, Michelin Star chef Theo Randall – proprietor of – walks us through his panzanella salad. Check out his cookbooks , and support .


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
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Theo Randall

"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."

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.

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