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Italian Tomato and Bread Salad


In a modern twist on the salad panzanella, bread is roasted then flavoured with the juices from ripe tomatoes, fresh basil and piquant capers – for the easiest summer food. Delicious!

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  • 3/4 small loaf of country-style bread
  • 1-2 days old
  • cut or torn into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • cut into chunks
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 small red onion
  • halved and thinly sliced
  • 450g juicy ripe plum tomatoes
  • roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • drained
  • 1 small bunch of fresh basil
  • about 20g
  • torn
  • 20 mini mozzarella cheeses
  • 225g total weight


Level of difficulty Average
Preparation time 10mins
Cooking time 20mins
Cost Average budget


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan oven), gas 5. Spread the bread out over two-thirds of a large roasting tin. Toss the yellow pepper chunks in 1 tbsp oil and put in a single layer on the remaining third of the tin. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden. Remove and leave to cool for a few minutes.

Step 2

While the bread and peppers are roasting, put the remaining oil in a large serving bowl and whisk in the vinegar, caster sugar and a little ground black pepper. Add the onion slices and toss well to coat in the dressing, then add the tomatoes and capers, and mix together.

Step 3

Add the bread and yellow peppers to the bowl. Scatter with the torn basil, then mix well. Cover and chill until you are ready to serve. Drain the mini mozzarella cheeses and arrange over the top of the salad before serving.


For mozzarella, use a drained 200g can tuna in olive oil, flaked, or a 185g can skinless boneless sardines.
Shopping tips

If you can't find mini mozzarella, buy two 125g packs mozzarella and cut into pieces. * You can buy the 50 per cent less fat mozzarella, if you prefer.
Cooking tip

The salad can be chilled for several hours, or even overnight.
…speed it up

For an even faster panzanella, cut the bread into thick slices and dunk quickly in cold water, then squeeze gently to remove the excess. Tear into pieces, dropping them into a bowl. Top with the vegetables and capers. Whisk the dressing in a small bowl as step 2 and drizzle over the salad. Put a plate on top and press the salad gently to flavour the bread with some of the juices from the tomatoes. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes, then gently toss. Scatter with the basil and mini mozzarella.

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