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Panzanella

Roasting brings out the sweetness of the peppers. For this dish to be enjoyed at its very best it has to have time. Leave the salad so the bread has plenty of time to soak the tomato juices.

Ingredients

1 small loaf ciabatta, preferable slightly stale
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 green pepper
350g vine ripened tomatoes
handful basil leaves

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200°C, Gas Mark 6.

Cut the crust off the ciabatta loaf. Tear the loaf into bite size pieces and place onto a baking tray. Drizzle with 3 tbsp of oil and season with salt and black pepper. Toast in the oven for 4-5 minutes until golden.

Halve and deseed the peppers and place onto a baking tray and drizzle with the remaining oil. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes. When cool enough to handle, place the roasted peppers into a plastic bag to cool. When the peppers have cooled enough the skin will be wrinkled and easily removed. Cut the skinless peppers into chunks.

Plunge the tomatoes into hot water, drain then plunge into cold water. Remove the skin.

Place the bread and peppers into a bowl; place a sieve on top of the bowl. Halve the tomatoes and spoon the juice and seeds into the sieve. Add the tomato flesh to the bread and peppers. Let the tomato juices drip onto the bread, peppers and tomatoes. When all the juices have dripped into the bowl discard the seeds and leave the salad for at least 30 minutes. Tear a handful of basil leaves and add to the bowl. Toss and serve.

Alternative suggestions.
For added colour and crunchiness add chunks of cucumber.
A handful of black olive can be added for an added Mediterranean feel.