It may feel horribly wintery, suddenly cold and dark all the time, but the tomatoes available are still sweet and delicious. The perfect time to inject a ray of sunshine into your day with this unashamedly bright and summery salad. It certainly made our day a bit brighter when we ate it for lunch on a grey day this weekend. I’ve read all sorts of recipes for this classic Mediterranean salad, some recommending leaving the dish for up to a day before eating. Personally, I prefer the bread croutons to retain a good crunch and crispness. I am not really a fan of soggy bread in a tomato salad. Forgive me if this is ‘wrong’! Hence I would recommend leaving the dish for up to half an hour before eating, giving the best of both worlds – your croutons retain some crunch but have also absorbed plenty of the vinegary dressing. Delicious!

Panzanella (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)


serves 2-4

  • 2 ciabatta rolls
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 10 ripe tomatoes ( a variety if possible)
  • 1 shallot, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 1 handful olives
  • handful basil leaves, roughly torn.

for the dressing:

  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of sugar

– Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 6

– Cut the rolls into rough cubes, drizzle with the oil and bake for 10-15 minutes until toasty and golden. Sprinkle with the red wine vinegar.

– Place the sliced shallots in cold water and leave for about half an hour to take the strength out. Drain.

– Roughly chop the tomatoes and mix with the other ingredients. Mix in the dressing.

– Add the crispy bread cubes and toss well.

– Leave for 15 minutes at room temperature



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Welcome. I'm a Cordon Bleu trained chef and mother with a passion for cooking vegetarian food. All recipes featured here are dairy, egg, and nut-free, thus 'accidentally' vegan, as my children are allergic to those. My aim is to recreate any dish, even what seems impossible, but free of the ingredients we can't have, and log my exploits here. Please browse what is now several hundred recipes. All the recipes posted (unless stated) are my own creations.

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