There are many variations of this Tuscan bread and tomato salad but all agree on the type of bread needed: a rustic, country loaf at least a couple of days old. Good quality stale sourdough works well too but don't try and use any fresh bread, it will simply disintegrate. This rustic salad bursts with the fruity, Mediterranean flavours and it is a great way to use a stale loaf!
Serve on its own or a simple side to grilled fish.
- Peel and finely slice the onion. Put it into a bowl, cover with water and add 1 tablespoon of the vinegar. Set aside.
- Peel the cucumber and slice finely. Wash the cherry tomatoes and cut them into quarters. Cut the bread into chunky slices.
- Prepare a bowl of cold water mixed with 1 tablespoon of the vinegar. Dip the bread into it briefly, being careful not to soak it. Then squeeze out the water and break the bread into chunks into a large salad bowl.
- Drain the sliced onion. Add the tomatoes, cucumber and onion to the salad bowl.
- Wash and tear the basil leaves and add to the salad.
- Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and a grind of black pepper. Mix well.
- Let the panzanella stand for between 15 minutes and one hour before serving.
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