Giorgio Locatelli's panzanella

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Because of panzanella, I don't think I have ever thrown a single piece of stale bread in the bin! The great thing about this Tuscan salad is that it goes well with just about anything – grilled fish, chicken, prawns, you name it – or you can just hog a whole bowl of it to yourself.

1 small loaf of country-style bread (about 2-3 days old), cut into large cubes
1 small cucumber, roughly chopped
1 large red onion, roughly chopped
3 very ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
1-2 teaspoons sugar (to taste)
12 basil leaves, roughly crushed

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the cucumber, red onion and tomatoes in a large bowl and add the bread. Mix well with your hands and season with salt and pepper.

Whisk the olive oil, red wine vinegar, capers, sugar and some salt and pepper together and add to the bowl with the basil. Give it a good stir, then cover and leave in the fridge overnight for the flavours to mellow. The bread should feel moist but not soggy. Serve as a starter or salad, or with grilled or roasted meat.

From Tony and Giorgio, by Tony Allan and Giorgio Locatelli (Fourth Estate)

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