Winter Panzanella by Temple Perrotta

Winter panzanella
This is a nice alternative to the summer classic—without the pain of soaking and squeezing. I haven’t put amounts for the ingredients because they can vary according to your own tastes, but the amounts are pretty much equal on a cup-for-cup basis

Loaf of day old bread (Tuscan Pugliese)
Cherry tomatoes
Purple onion, preferably green
Yellow sweet pepper
Crushed garlic
Black olives, gaeta or niçoise
Olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
Balsamic vinegar
Canned crushed tomatoes

Slice the bread into 1 inch slices and tear them into bite-size pieces
Cut all the vegetables except the garlic and tomatoes into 1” cubes; salt and drain the aubergines
In a large bowl, combine the vegetables, enough olive oil to coat them lightly, 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, and 1 tbsp of crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper; combine with your hands to mix all ingredients well
Put the vegetables into an oiled roasting pan and place in a preheated 225° oven for 15’ stirring occasionally, then add the whole tomatoes and olives; roast for another 5-6’
Remove from oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large pan (I used a wok) heat ¼ cup olive oil and add the crushed garlic; when sizzling, add the bread and toss continuously until well coated; continue until the bread becomes croutons but still soft in the centre
Add the vegetables to the bread and combine well; adjust seasoning if necessary
Serve warm as a salad, a starter or side


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