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 .
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
"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."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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