A few weeks ago, I raved about a new Italian cookbook called A16 Food + Wine that has a delicious (and unique) meatball recipe. Well, I'm still learning great things from it. This week, I made a panzanella with tuna and capers, another item on the menu at the launch party. Every ingredient, from the briny capers to the fragrant basil, was well-balanced.
This is a fantastic meal to make if you've got too much bread or when your loaf is going stale. I left the capers whole, since I like their saltiness and texture. You can easily adjust the recipe to your liking; get your hands on it (and step-by-step pictures) when you
- 1/2 pound country bread
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Persian cucumbers or 1 English (hothouse) cucumber
- 1 pound tomatoes, cored and quartered
- 1 tablespoon capers, soaked 30 minutes and chopped
- 5 basil leaves, coarsely torn
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup olive oil-packed tuna, drained
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Tear the bread into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large bowl, toss the bread with about 1/2 cup olive oil, coating the bread evenly. Spread the pieces in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and toast for 10 minutes, or just enough for the bread to turn slightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Slice off a piece of the cucumber and taste it. If the skin is bitter, peel the cucumbers. Otherwise, keep the peel. Halve the cucumbers lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut into chunks about the same size as the tomatoes.
- Place the tomatoes and cucumbers in a large bowl, add the capers and basil, and season with a pinch of salt.
- Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and the vinegar over the mixture and toss thoroughly.
- Add the tuna and bread and toss again just until incorporated.
- Arrange the salad on a platter and serve immediately.
- Salads, Bread