A Tuscan salad of the ripest, sun-kissed tomatoes and day-old bread – the beauty of this is the way the juices are soaked up by the bread and soften it slightly.
This is my basic variation, but feel free to add cucumber, boiled eggs, tuna, anchovies and capers for an Italian vibe.
- ½ loaf day-old bread (preferably sourdough or crusty French stick)
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 10-12 mixed tomatoes (small cherries, large beefsteak, plum, vine, coloured etc)
- Pinch of sugar
- Sea salt and cracked pepper
- Handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
- ½ cup fruity olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, very finely diced or crushed
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2 Lay the peppers on a tray and roast for 20 minutes until the skins are wrinkled. Remove from the tray and leave to cool, then peel off the skin. Halve and remove the seeds, then dice the peppers.
3 Cut the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces, sprinkle with the salt and sugar, toss gently and leave to stand for about 10 minutes.
4 Tear the bread into small pieces.
5 On a large platter, arrange the diced tomatoes (reserve the juices), torn bread, peppers and fresh basil.
6 Combine the olive oil, garlic, vinegar and remaining tomato juice. Whisk together with a fork, season and spoon over the tomato and bread salad.