Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)

This is without doubt my favourite salad! If you are a fan of tomato, this is a must-try.

4 x 2cm thick slices of sourdough bread
6-8 fresh, ripe tomatoes at room temperature
half a cucumber
1 small red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
125ml olive oil
60ml balsamic vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
a bunch of fresh basil leaves

Preheat your oven to 190℃ and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
Cut the sourdough slices into cubes of 1,5 – 2cm.
Spread the bread cubes on the prepared baking sheet and liberally drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.
Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until the bread is golden and crisp.
Remove from the baking sheet and set aside to cool.

Chop 3-4 tomatoes into very small pieces. The chopping is best done in a shallow bowl so that you preserve all of the tomato’s juice.
Add the tomato and the juice to a small mixing bowl.
Chop the onion as finely as you can, mince the garlic and add to the tomato.
Now add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice.
Mix these ingredients together and seasonal with salt and pepper. Make adjustments according to your liking.

Slice the remaining 3-4 tomatoes into chunks and place in a large mixing bowl.
Cut the cucumber into chunks and add that as well.
Pour the dressing over the tomato and cucumber and mix through.
Scatter the croutons and basil on top of the salad and mix through.
Transfer to a serving platter.

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