Panzanella Salad with Tomatoes, Olives & Basil

STALE BREAD SHOULD NEVER GO TO WASTE AGAIN! Panzanella is a Tuscan summer specialty based on bread and tomatoes – and it’s absolutely delicious! It’s actually a super healthy meal, full of fresh ingredients, low in calories and rich in nutrients. Just the process of making it will make you feel like an Italian God/ess, as the aromas and colors fill the plate.

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TOMATOES RIPEN IN THE SUN. When red & ripe, they are loaded with skin-friendly anti-oxidant lycopene. Lycopene has been shown to protect the skin from sun damage. Beautiful of mother nature to have given us so many tomatoes right in the summer ;). Yet another reason to enjoy this meal on days with strong sunshine.

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Tuscan Summer Panzanella with
Tomatoes, Olives & Basil

Serves 2. Prep time: 20 min . Waiting time: 20 min (skip this step if in a hurry).

Tomatoes, 500g, ripe and deliciously smelling
Stale bread, e.g. half a baguette
Cucumber, medium size, quartered, deseeded and thickly sliced
Black olives, 50g, sliced
Basil leaves, fresh, handful
Red onion, a small one, quartered and sliced
Olive oil, 4tbs, organic
Cider vinegar, 1 tbs, organic, apple cider vinegar works really well
Salt and pepper to taste

1. TAKE THE RIPEST TOMATOES (leaving 2 untouched for now) and crush them in a bowl using your hands. Still using your hands, separate the skin and seeds from the tomato pulp and juice by squeezing the tomatoes through a sieve. This can take about 10 minutes of work with your hands – and will end up creating a thick tomato sauce. Luckily tomatoes are very good for your skin :).
2. ONCE THE TOMATO SAUCE IS DONE, tear bite sized chunks of your stale bread and add them to the same bowl.
3. ADD OLIVE OIL and vinegar, stir well.
4. ADD CUCUMBER, BASIL, black olives and onion. Cut up the leftover untouched tomatoes and add them too.
5. ADD SALT & PEPPER, then stir again and let the flavour mix for about 20 minutes. This step can be skipped if you are in a hurry, but taking time for this step will make the panzanella taste truly divine!

I sometimes add just a few bits of grated old goat’s cheese on top – but even without it, the flavors are absolutely spectacular!

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