This is the perfect summer salad and a great accompaniment to the grilled sardines. Panzanella is a Tuscan salad made with crusty bread and tomatoes. The addition of feta and roasted red peppers gives it a Mediterranean flair. The original recipe called for anchovies in the dressing, but I didn’t have any on hand so I just added a tiny bit of sea salt. The dressing came out perfect. I really liked this salad because it was super easy to make and very delicious. The sweet cherry tomatoes went well with the fragrant basil/balsamic dressing, and the creamy tangy feta was a boost of flavour. The only thing I didn’t like was how the toasted ciabatta absorbed the sauce quickly and became soggy. When I make this salad again, I will be sure to add the ciabatta last. Enjoy!
Oops the pancetta was for the sardines, but here are the main components for this salad: feta, roasted red peppers, capers, cherry tomatoes and ciabatta.
Blend together a clove of garlic, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, spring onion, basil and 3-4 cherry tomatoes. The original recipe used 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, but it was such a waste of the beautiful tomatoes, so I used only 3. It was enough to create a dressing-like consistency.
I followed the original recipe and added the toasted ciabatta before the tomatoes. The bread absorbed a lot of the sauce and became soggy real fast. I have altered the recipe below to reflect this.
Recipe – adapted from Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals
½ small ciabatta loaf
1 clove garlic
extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cups mixed color cherry tomatoes, halved
½ bunch spring onion, ends trimmed
½ bunch fresh basil
1 tablespoon capers
1 cup jarred roasted red peppers, cut into 1-inch chunks
Handful feta cheese
- Cut the ciabatta into 1 inch thick slices and toast them on both sides on a pan.
- Peel the garlic and put into a blender or food processor with 1 tablespoon olive oil, balsamic, 3-4 cherry tomatoes, spring onions and basil. Blend until it becomes smooth. Pour into a large serving bowl.
- Halve the remaining tomatoes and add to the bowl, along with the capers and peppers. Toss.
- Tear the toasted ciabatta into thumb-sized pieces into the bowl and toss once only to coat. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil to finish.
- Garnish with torn basil leaves and feta.
- Serve immediately with the grilled sardines.