I still dream of the Italian supper club I hosted with a chef friend back in the summer of 2019. Over two sold out nights, we served our dream Italian-themed dinner. My friend, in charge of the savoury dishes, made a Panzanella that had everyone in raptures. The kitchen team kept pinching a mouthful from the bowl each time we passed by, we couldn’t get enough of it. It’s savoury and rich, and the contrast of the soft tomato and the crisp but chewy bread was heavenly. I’ve got a lot of spare bread at the moment and so I decided to try to recreate my friend’s perfect salad. A burrata on the side was a great addition, the cream rounding everything out perfectly, though you can leave it out if you’re vegan. I can’t wait to try this with all the different varieties of tomatoes we’re growing on the balcony.


Makes 3-4 servings

Butt of stale bread (maybe 4-5ish slices worth), torn into bite size pieces
4 med-large tomatoes, at room temperature and sliced
A small bunch of basil, leaves torn up
1 garlic clove, core removed and either grated on a micro plane or ground with a little salt in a mortar & pestle
4 tbsp evoo plus extra for drizzling
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt & pepper
1 Burrata per person, at room temperature

Heat the oven to 150C (no fan). Put the bread pieces on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and spread them out so they’re not crowded. Toast in the oven for 15-20 mins.

While the bread is toasting, place the tomatoes in a sieve or colander set over a bowl. Sprinkle a 1/4 tsp of fine salt over the tomatoes, toss, and leave to drain for 10 mins. Reserve the tomato juice.

Add the tomatoes and torn basil to a large salad bowl. Add 4 tbsp evoo to the reserved tomato juice, along with the garlic, red wine vinegar, mustard, 1/4 tsp fine sea salt, a generous few grinds of black pepper, and whisk together until it thickens up. Pour this over the tomatoes and basil. It will seem like a lot of dressing, but the bread will soak it up.

When the bread is toasted, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Toss with the dressed tomato and basil mixture, and serve with a burrata for each person.

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