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Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)

Panzanella is a Tuscan salad consisting of chunks of soaked stale bread and tomatoes, sometimes also onions and basil, dressed with olive oil and vinegar. Making Panzanella salad is a terrific way to use up stale or leftover bread.

500 g stale bread (fresh bread will work too!)
100 ml garlic infused olive oil
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
16 black olives, pitted
a handful fresh basil, leaves removed from the stalks
30 ml balsamic vinegar
25 g Parmesan cheese, grated
freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C when the bread is almost risen.
  2. Slice the bread into 1 cm thick slices. Then dice the slices up into even cubes.
  3. Transfer the diced bread to a baking tray lined with a Wizbake baking sheet and spread it evenly over the surface.
  4. Drizzle the oil evenly over the diced bread and stir well to make sure the bread has evenly absorbed the oil.
  5. Bake the bread until golden brown and crispy.
  6. In the meantime, add the cherry tomatoes and olives to the pan and stir-fry gently over a moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Season with pepper and salt.
  8. Add the fresh basil leaves, balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil to the pan and mix well.
  9. Transfer the salad to a bowl, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  10. Adjust the seasoning to taste by adding extra pepper, salt or balsamic vinegar.
  11. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl, sprinkle with the grated parmesan cheese and serve.

4 servings.