panzanella (bread salad)

often, a salad is insufficient as a dinner. i feel like it has to be accompanied by a lot of bread (though maybe i always do). the italians came up with the perfect carb craving salad: panzanella. in a way, it’s like a greek salad – combined with roasted bread crumbs, that soak up the olive oil dressing. make advantage of summer’s fragrant tomatoes and cucumbers and try one, it’s simple and effective.

for one big plate

1 cucumber, halved, deseeded and chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup basil leaves, thinly chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 tin chickpeas, drained and washed
1 handful of black olives (pitted ones)
1 medium bread, cut in slices and then in chunks
2 garlic cloves, minced
olive oil
salt, pepper
a little harissa or sriracha
figue or simple white vine vinegar
1 tbsp. honey

first, combine the bread chunks with some olive oil, salt, pepper and one garlic clove. then, fry in a lot of butter and olive oil, until slightly golden brown, while tossing regularly. in the meantime, toss together the chopped veggies, chickpeas, onion, olives and the fresh basil. make a dressing out of olive oil, the other garlic clove, a special, sweet vinegar, a little harissa and honey. toss everything, also the still slightly warm bread, together. ideally, let the bread soak up the dressing for a few minutes. i never succeed.

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