Panzanella is such a classic summer dish, making use of all the lovely tomatoes that the summer heat brings. I believe it was once considered a peasants dish, using up stale bread but its a trendy dish now and there are dozens of variations. While its true that tomatoes here in the UK sadly don’t compare with those in Tuscany, where Panzanella originates, if you choose the ripest tomatoes you can find and use them at room temperature you can make a delicious Panzanella here too. I love it and think I could eat it most days during the summer. My husband is not a fan of cucumbers, so this Panzanella does not include them, although they are easily added in if you prefer.
Having just enjoyed a week in the sun I am still in holiday mode and this shows in the meals I want to prepare at the moment, it may not be very summery here but nonetheless its summer on our plates! I included scallops and mozzarella pearls in our latest Panzanella and it was delicious! It’s rare that I am organised enough to have good tomatoes and stale bread in the house without planning so I often lightly toast the bread which works just fine.
- 4 slices of sourdough bread or any sturdy country type bread
- 4 large tomatoes, cut into large chunks
- 1 medium red onion, sliced into thin rings
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and cut in half lengthways
- Few sprigs of fresh basil, leaves removed from stems
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus a little more to cook the scallops
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Mozzarella pearls, my pot weighed 125 grams, if you can’t find pearls a ball of mozzarella torn into pieces would be fine
- Scallops, about 8 large scallops (or if sadly like the day I wanted them they only have small ones in a pack that will also be fine)
- Cut the tomatoes into large chunks, the onions into rings and place into a large bowl.
- Lightly toast the sourdough bread.
- Rub each piece of bread lightly, on both sides with the cut pieces of garlic. Cut each piece of bread into large cubes and put in the bowl with the onions and tomatoes.
- Roughly cut up the basil leaves and add to the bowl.
- Whisk together the olive oil and vinegar, add salt and pepper to taste and pour over the ingredients in the bowl. Mix together well and leave to sit for a while allowing the bread to soak up the dressing and the flavours to combine.
- Brush each scallop with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat a griddle or frying pan and place the scallops in the hot pan, cook for about a minute on each side.
- Add the mozzarella to the salad. Mix ingredients again and serve.
- Place the scallops onto the prepared Panzanella and enjoy.
Lovely tomatoes on holiday