Recipe: James' Tuscan Panzanella


Panzanella salad is the best thing to do with leftover bread! It's hard to get it just like you have in Italy, but James has tried to recreate it with a few little twists. How did he do?


  • 500 g slightly stale sourdough or country style bread
  • 50 ml water
  • 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 2 anchovies
  • 500 g mixed tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs basil
  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 bunch basil
Prepare the bread

Step 1

Prepare The Bread

Slice the crusts off the bread and blitz them into crumbs. Dice the rest of the bread into 2x2cm cubes. Throw everything into a large mixing bowl. Combine the water and the vinegar and pour it over the bread. Toss it all together.

Add Onion and Peppers

Step 2

Add Onion And Peppers

Peel and finely dice the red onion. Transfer it to a sieve and boil a kettle full of water. Pour the boiling water over the onion over a sink. Tip the onions in with the bread and leave to cool. Use a blowtorch or a gas hob (being careful and never leaving it unattended) to char the skin of the pepper. If using the hob, place the pepper directly over the flame and move using heatproof tongs. Once the skin has black patches all over leave to cool, then slice off the flesh around the seeds. Discard the seeds and small dice the flesh. Add it to the bread.

Add the Tomatoes

Step 3

Add The Tomatoes

Peel and mince the garlic, mince the anchovies and add both to the bread. Roughly chop the tomatoes and transfer them to the bowl. Scrape any excess liquid into another small bowl. Roughly chop the basil and add it to the bread. Toss everything together with the bread.

Season and Rest

Step 4

Season And Rest

Pour the olive oil and vinegar into the tomato liquid and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Pour it over the bread and toss again to get an even coating. Cover the bowl in clingfilm and leave in the fridge for 6 hours, until the bread begins to break down.


Step 5


Give the salad a stir and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Serve with plenty of fresh basil and seasoning to taste. Serves 4

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