Panzanella (Meat Free)

Panzanella (Meat Free)

This is a traditional Tuscan dish made with stale bread and tomatoes, but of course I wanted to add my own touches to it.  My mum used to make a lovely simple salad with chickpeas and oranges (yes that’s right!) for my Sicilian dad and I think this addition works a treat.

Ingredients for 2 servings

100g mooli
120g chickpeas, drained
130g tomato, fresh, chopped into small pieces
60g peppers, cut into strips
15g fresh basil
30g extra virgin olive oil
250g orange, weight before peeled
100g mixed salad leaves
100g ciabatta, stale
salt and pepper

(Example ingredient amounts given, adjust accordingly to your requirements)

Method

  • Tear the ciabatta into small pieces before placing into a bowl and splashing with water. Set aside so that the bread soaks in the water – stay with me!
  • Place a small frying pan onto the heat to warm before adding the peppers to soften. This should take only a few minutes, and when they’re ready remove the pan from the heat.
  • Peel the mooli and slice into thin strips using a potato/vegetable peeler and place in another bowl along with the chopped tomatoes, peppers and drained chickpeas.
  • Place the orange onto a chopping board and using a sharp knife remove the top and bottom so that you can sit the orange on the chopping board without it rolling off.
  • Using the knife, cut away the peel being careful not to leave the pith behind.
  • When all the peel has been removed, carefully hold the orange in one hand and start to remove the segments by carefully cutting each side of the segment.
  • Continue until all the segments are removed and place the segments into the bowl with the other ingredients.
  • Using your hands, squeeze the juice of the orange into the bowl to create the dressing and add the olive oil along with seasoning to taste.
  • Tear the fresh basil and add it to the main bowl and add the soaked ciabatta.
  • Give everything a thorough mix to coat everything with the dressing and set aside for approximately 10 minutes allowing the dressing to be soaked in.
  • Arrange the salad leaves onto the plate and arrange the Panzanella onto the plate.
  • Dig in and get ready for your tastebuds to be woken up with lovely flavours!

Notes

  • I prefer to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil in salad dressings as it has a lovely peppery note.
  • Stale bread is a must for this recipe.  The water is added to refresh the bread so we’re talking about splashing it with water instead of pouring water over it.
  • Navel oranges work great for this recipe but my preferred orange for this recipe is a blood orange.
  • If you can’t get a mooli, then a regular radish would work really well instead.
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Nella Foulds
Nella Foulds

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