Here’s the recipe for panzanella that I use the most. It’s adapted from Nigella’s ‘Kitchen’, a great cookbook. These quantities make a massive bowl but as it keeps well and we’re a family of five that works for me – halve the quantities if you like.
500g stale rustic style bread, cut into little cubes
2 small red onions, cut into thin half moons
100ml red wine vinegar
1kg good ripe tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
4 teaspoons sea salt flakes (halve the quantity if using pouring salt)
1/4 tsp caster sugar
250ml extra virgin olive oil
2 supermarket bunches basil, leaves removed and chopped
Put the onion into a large bowl, pour the vinegar over and leave for at least 10 mins.
Meanwhile, cut crosses in the bottom of the tomatoes, put them into another bowl and pour boiling water over them to cover. Leave for 5 mins.
Crush the garlic over the onion.
Drain the tomatoes, peel them and remove the seeds. You will get messy doing this! Then chop the flesh and put in in with the onion.
Add the salt and sugar, then the bread cubes. Pour the oil over the bread, top with the chopped basil leaves, then use your hands to gently combine all the ingredients.
Ideally you should leave this for a few hours, even overnight, for the flavour to improve. Cover it with clingfilm and put it in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before eating (though it’s still yummy cold – I can’t resist!)