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1 LOAF Ciabatta
100ml extra virgin olive oil
500g small golden truss tomatoes
150g (1/2 cup) drained gold sweet and sour pepperdews
160g (1 cup) Sicilian olives
2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar or to taste
Extra orange juice, to taste
Large handful mint leaves
Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus standing time
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Panzanella is a classic dish from Tuscany. Dating from a time when absolutely nothing was wasted; it presents a way to conjure left-over bread into a delicious, gutsy salad. The bread chunks are tossed with tomatoes, capsicums, olive oil, herbs and vinegar and our version rings the changes by using oranges too and zingy pickled pepperdews. But use red or whatever tomatoes you have on hand- this is a very flexible recipe so flavour it as you like (use balsamic vinegar or add chunks of bocconcini, for example, if you prefer). Panzanella makes a great accompaniment to a summer barbecue.
. Preheat the oven to 200C. Using a large knife, cut the crusts off the bread then tear the bread into rough chunks about 1.5cm. Place the bread in a single layer in a baking dish then drizzle with 60ml (1/3 cup) of the oil, tossing to coat. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light golden and crisp. Cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, using a small sharp knife, peel the oranges. Holding the oranges over a large bowl to collect juices, cut between the orange membranes to remove the segments. Add the segments to the bowl with the juices, squeezing the remaining membranes to extract as much juice as possible. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and tear the pepperdews into large pieces then add to the orange segments in the bowl with the cooled bread.
3. Add the olives, vinegar and remaining olive oil, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss to combine. Add a little extra oil, vinegar or some orange juice if desired; mixture may need a little moistening depending on how juicy oranges and tomatoes are. Cover the bowl and stand the salad at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow bread to soften and flavours to develop. Add the mint, toss gently then serve.
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