Panzanella an Easy Tuscan Recipe

 

Panzanella is a classic Tuscan dish. It has been one of my favorite recipes during quarantine.

Simply because it is so easy to make, it tastes delicious and you can use your two – three day old bread.

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Three Day Old Bread – Durum Wheat Salted – Best to use a hard crusted bread

The most important ingredient is the tomato that MUST be pulpy and sweet.  The best place to by great tomato’s in Florence is at the Jewelry store.

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I used Datterino & Pachino Tomato both originally from Sicily

I don’t mean the classic jewelry store I mean those fruit and veg vendors in the historical centre that sell the best but most expensive produce. Florentine’s call these stops ‘Gioillerie’ – Jewelry stores!

The closest from my place in San Frediano is right near the Ponte Santa Trinita Bridge.  As usual I get carried away rather than just buying the necessary ingredients I can not resist the other amazing seasonal products available –  just like going to a Jewelry Store!!

 

Ingredients:
400g (6 slices) – Crusty Italian Bread or sourdough
4 large mature salad tomatoes (not too acidic)
2 Red Onions or 4 fresh small onions
2 cucumbers
Fresh Basil
Red Wine Vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Method
Slice up your 2-3 day old bread and immerse in a bowl of cold water for 15 minutes ( I remove the crust although it is up to you). Once the bread is soft, take one slice at a time and squeeze out the water, crumble the bread into a bowl and add a sprinkle of kosher salt.
Slice all of the vegetables and throw them into the crumbled bread bowl, add extra virgin olive oil and pepper. Stir all of the mixture together and put it into the refrigerator for around 30 minutes before serving.
Serve with a drizzle of Red wine Vinegar and a crisp glass of Pinot Grigio – Buon Appetito

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