There are many versions of panzanella and like in most areas of food, there are no rules here. Panzanella was originally created to help use up stale bread – in which the bits of bread are soaked in water and squeezed dry and then fried and added to a dish of fresh summer vegetables like tomato, cucumber and basil.
In the Kitchen Therapy version, I go for bit more warmth by roasting the bell peppers and onions in the pan for added flavour. There are many that don’t particularly enjoy the nutritious capsicum, but roasting these glossy vegetables give it a whole new dimension that can convert even the fussiest. The bright elements come in the form of olives and of course balsamic for an additional boost. This dish is packed with flavor, despite minimal seasonings – simply salt, pepper, olive and balsamic – which proves that you don’t always need a long ingredients list for a very good dish.
This entire dish is made in one pan, with just a bit of arm exercise in form of stirring, and the shavings of Grana Padano cheese is the mandatory final touch.
- 2 slices of sourdough bread
- ½ red bell pepper, sliced
- ½ yellow bell pepper, sliced
- ½ onion, sliced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 5-6 olives, halved
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Grana Padano
- Heat a medium non stick pan with olive oil and garlic cloves.
- Once the garlic starts to sizzle, add the bread and fry it up.
- Remove the bread slices with tongs, and place them in serving dish.
- In the same pan, add the peppers and onions with salt and roast for at least 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Then add the tomatoes, and stir a few times.
- Add the balsamic vinegar, olives and pepper. Stir a few more times before removing into the serving dish.
- Grate Grana Padano cheese on top and serve warm or at room temperature.