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!)
Start making this in advance of when you want to eat it – the bulgar wheat and the peppers both need to cool down before you can assemble the salad.
- 450ml water
- 225g bulgar wheat
- 3 peppers (any colour but green)
- packet flat leaf parsley
- packet mint
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- juice of one lemon
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 210C/Fan 190C/Gas 7. Add some salt to the water and bring it to the boil. Pour in the bulgar wheat, stir, bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring every now and then. If the bulgar wheat hasn’t quite absorbed all the water after 5 minutes then give it another minute. When it is done, empty it into your salad bowl and leave to cool. Occasionally stirring it with a fork while it’s cooling will speed up the process and stop it from clumping up.
Deseed the peppers and cut them into strips. Toss with some olive oil, salt and pepper and spread out on a large baking tray. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or so, until the edges of the peppers are blackening. Leave to cool.
When everything’s cool, strip the leaves from the mint and finely chop it with the flat leaf parsley (a mezzaluna is good for this). Mix the herbs with the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic clove and some more salt and pepper, then stir the mixture into the bulgar wheat. Now stir through your cooled peppers and you’re done! This will go well with any platter of salads.
The addition of the eggs means extra protein here! This is enough for four people but you can easily halve the quantities.
- 8 tbsp olive oil
- juice of one lemon
- 2 small red onions, finely sliced
- 2 tins cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- packet flat leaf parsley, chopped
- packet oregano, leaves only, chopped
- black olives (about 30)
- 4 large eggs
Put a medium sized pan of water on and bring to the boil. When it is boiling reduce the heat and gently lower the eggs in one by one with a slotted spoon. Now turn the heat back up and set a timer for 8 minutes.
While the eggs are cooking prepare the salad. Put the olive oil and the lemon juice into a serving bowl and whisk with some salt and pepper. Then add the onion, beans, herbs and olives. Mix gently to combine.
When the eggs are done put them into a bowl of cold water, then place the bowl under a running tap for 2 minutes. This will stop the eggs from cooking any further and make them cool enough to handle. You can then peel off the shells, quarter the eggs, and place them on top of the salad.
There are lots of versions of celeriac remoulade out there – this one is the best in my opinion. And very, very simple to do. You will not be disappointed by this dish!
- 1 medium celeriac, approx 600g
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 100ml mayonnaise
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard