I’m not sure this can strictly be called a panzanella salad as whilst it contains both bread and tomatoes, it also has a large proportion of my store cupboard and fridge inside too. But regardless of it’s name, it’s perfect summer lunch fodder and a great way to use up left over, stale bread (yes, I’m thinking of the focaccia recipe from last week…).
It’s an all in one dish, incredibly easy to put together, looks pretty enough to present to guests, and has the added bonus of tasting wonderful and being good for you – I mean look at all this celery…
Don’t let that put you off though please! It’s also chock full of shredded roast chicken, olives, capers, roasted peppers, sliced red onion, and basil. And don’t forget the good helping of bread to soak up the dressing and salad juices to fabulous effect.
Whilst you can eat the salad on the day of creation, it tastes even better the next day once the bread has had time to soak up all the flavours and the ingredients have mingled delightfully. Just keep it covered in the fridge ready for a “here’s one I prepared earlier” moment!
This time last year: Giant Prawn Burgers
Chicken Panzanella Salad
Serves 6 (as a main)
3 large ripe vine tomatoes, quartered and chopped in large pieces
3 sticks celery, finely sliced
200g roasted peppers (about 2 large whole ones from a jar of pre-prepared ones), sliced
1/2 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
100g black pitted olives
2 tablespoons capers
200g roasted chicken torn into pieces
20g basil, roughly torn
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil
400g stale while bread, crusts removed and cut into bite-size chunks*
1. Put all of the ingredients into a largish bowl and mix thoroughly. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve. It will keep for up to 3 days.
* If your bread isn’t very stale, toast it under the grill for a few minutes on each side to firm it up so it doesn’t go soggy too quickly.