Panzanella tiepida - Tepid Tomato and Bread Salad

Panzanella is a summer salad from Tuscany, made with stale bread mixed with plenty of raw tomatoes, red onions, peppers and cucumber, and dressed with basil, oil and vinegar. 
Here I make a tepid panzanella to celebrate the best tomatoes of the end of summer. I add sautéed onions, anchovies, capers, olives, basil and mozzarella to my salad to create a true Mediterranean dish. 

To enhance the flavour of the great variety of tomatoes I got from the market, I quick bake them with oregano and garlic cloves, with a drizzle of olive oil.

In the meantime, I sauté two blond onions in little oil for 10-15 minutes on low heat. They will give an extra touch of sweetness to the dish.

As for the bread, I simply use chunks of stale baguette I gently bake for 10 minutes, to have them crunchy. And the salad is done. 
The secret: I combine the ingredients at the very last moment, just before serving, to keep their individual taste and texture.

Panzanella tiepida
Tepid Tomato and Bread Salad

700 g mixed tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, halved
1 tablespoon oregano
2 onions, peeled and finely sliced
60 g stale bread in chunks
6 anchovies in oil, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon capers in salt
12 black olives, pitted
2 small buffalo mozzarella, chopped
Few fresh basil leaves, torn
Extra virgin oil
Sea salt
Black pepper

Serves 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

1. Preheat the oven to 200 C.

2. Line an oven tray with parchment and place the chopped tomatoes and garlic over it. Sprinkle with oregano and salt and drizzle with oil. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, no longer than that, as you want to get crunchy tomatoes. Remove from the oven and keep warm.

3. Switch the oven off and leave the bread inside for 10 minutes, on an oven tray.

4. Meanwhile, in a pan, heat one tablespoon of oil and gently soften the onions with a pinch of salt on low heat for 10-15 minutes, until soft but not browned. Add water, if necessary.

5. With your hand, tear the mozzarella into chunks.

6. In a serving dish arrange the tomatoes, the bread, the anchovies, the capers and the olives, the basil and finally the mozzarella. Give a good stir and dress with oil, salt and pepper.

7. Serve at once.

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