Grilled panzanella

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus cooling and standing
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes
  • Total time: 45 minutes, plus cooling and standing

Serves: 6 as a side


6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
200g day-old white bread, torn into small chunks
2 red onions, finely sliced
2 red chillies, roughly chopped
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1kg mixed tomatoes
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
25g pack basil, leaves torn


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Whisk 3 tbsp olive oil with the garlic in a bowl, add the bread and toss to coat. Tip onto a baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden.

2. Meanwhile, put the onion and chilli in a large bowl, add a large pinch of sea salt and toss to coat. Gently knead and toss the onion and chilli together for a couple of minutes until softened, then drain off any excess liquid.

3. Preheat the barbecue for direct grilling. Put the peppers on the grill and cook for about 10 minutes, turning regularly, until blackened and charred all over. Transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to cool and steam for 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, rub the skins away and discard with the stalks and seeds. Tear the flesh into long strips and add to the onion and chilli.

4. While the peppers are cooling, lightly char the tomatoes on the barbecue for a few minutes, turning regularly. Roughly chop and add to the bowl. Whisk together the remaining 3 tbsp olive oil and the sherry vinegar, pour over the salad and toss to coat. Toss through the chunks of bread and the basil, and leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving; the bread should be starting to soften but still retain a bit of crunch.