Bread Salad ….or isn’t it?????
Bread salad or Tomato Salad……what shall we call it? A Bread Salad or Panzanella requires no cooking at all and is basically just stale Italian bread mixed in a salad with tomatoes, cucumber, onion and a very good olive oil. So I guess this is not a classic Panzanella then… because I made croutons and I slow roasted some tomatoes.
According to Trish Deseine from Trish’s Paris Kitchen, this is a take on a sandwich from the South of France, called a ‘pan bagnat’. As she said the name “pan bagnat”, it sounded so exotic and classy, but in essence, it really is just a big bread roll, drenched in olive oil and stuffed with tomatoes and herbs…. This recipe caught my attention, because I love stuffing breads as you will remember from my Ground Beef in a bundle! I think it presents well on a table and the idea of edible containers fascinates me… Not only did my inspiration for the bread salad come from Trish’s programme, but my herb and vegetable garden inspires me so at the moment. The herbs are just fantastic and my tomatoes and rocket just keep yielding more and more produce… If you haven’t got a herb garden yet, I urge you to try and make a plan…it will just take your cooking to a whole new level.
Bread Salad Recipe
1 round farm loaf
extra virgin olive oil – the best you have and lots of it.
fresh plum tomatoes – cut in big chunks
about 10 cocktail tomatoes – halved
fresh mint and basil
pinch of sugar
2 cloves garlic – unpeeled
Placed the halved cocktail tomatoes on a pan, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and slow roast until done. Cut a lid off the bread and hollow it out, leaving a thin layer of bread on the crust. Use the center of the bread and cut into big chunks. Drizzle with olive oil and together with the 2 cloves of garlic, roast the croutons in the oven until they are golden and crispy. You just want the hint of the garlic, so keep it whole. When the croutons and the slow-roasted tomatoes are ready, mix it with all the other ingredients and add more olive oil before you stuff the bread with the salad. Place the lid back on and leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour for the flavors to mingle and develop and the bread to absorb lovely olive oil “dressing.”
This is a meal all on its own, but you can add a cheese board or even a piece grilled chicken or beef is you need something a little more substantial…..Delish!