Panzanella Caprese Salad w/ Marinated Olives & Artichokes

July 19, 2016 at 1:58 pm (Italian, Recipes, Vegan/Vegetarian) (, , , , , , , )

The thing about good bread, with no preservatives, sugar or fillers in it, is that it goes stale pretty quickly.  Nothing wrong with that – this is the magical process that gives us super-crunchy croutons, french toast and bread and butter pudding.  And tomatoes are absolutely incredible at the moment, which means one thing – panzanella!

Panzanella-Caprese

This is a sort of panzanella-caprese salad mashup.  We’re in the US! Where they fly in the face of Italian culinary tradition and even add cheese to seafood, because cheese makes everything better.  While we’re at it, we’re throwing in some other tasty ingredients – marinated artichokes and olives – because we can.  This was a delicious side for lemon and herb roasted halibut (yes, still working through our freezer full of Homer-caught halibut).  It’s also filling enough to be a light meal on its own – cheese equals protein so macros are covered from where we’re standing.

Panzanella-Caprese2

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1.5 lbs of tomatoes*
  • small ciabatta, ~8oz
  • 1 buffalo mozzarella, 8oz
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried rosmary
  • bunch of basil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 4 marinated artichokes, quartered
  • 10 pitted olives, roughly chopped
  • 6 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup + 3 tbs EVOO
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • freshly grated parmesan to serve

Method

  1. Tear the ciabatta into bite-sized pieces.  In a mixing bowl, toss the bread with the dried oregano, rosemary and 3 tbs olive oil. Spread onto a baking sheet and broil until golden and crunchy.  Keep an eye on it as it can burn easily.
  2. Meanwhile, roughly chop the tomatoes (don’t have to be neat – totally a fan of Jamie Oliver’s no-fuss “rustic” approach) and add to a large mixing bowl with the artichokes and olives.
  3. Pick the leaves from half of the bunch of basil and reserve.  Finely chop up the rest of it, stems and all, and add it to a small mixing bowl with the chopped up  anchovies, vinegar and 1/3 cup oil.  Whisk together with a fork, then add this to the tomatoes along with the warm bread croutons (they’ll soak up more of the juices whilst warm).  With clean hands, toss it all together – squash the tomatoes a bit to get more of the juices out.  Tear the mozzarella into bite-sized pieces and add this to the bowl as well.  Season with salt and pepper and give it a final mix.
  4. Tip out the salad onto a large platter, scatter over the reserved basil leaves and grate over some parmesan to serve.

*Go for locally grown varieties where possible as these are ripened properly on the vine and are much sweeter as a result.  Also, don’t store them in the fridge!

Panzanella-Caprese3

Panzanella-Caprese4

 

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