Panzanella Italian Bread Salad

This tastes like piece of Italy. A traditional salad, it is really filling thanks to the bread pieces, which a coated with good-quality olive oil before being baked. Cucumber and cherry tomatoes bring a wonderful freshness. Simple and good, the only missing from this lunchbox is a view of Italty!

Ingredients:

5 slices of baguette, about 150g (5 ½ oz) in total

8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ small cucumber, about 100g (3 ½ oz)

5 cherry tomatoes, about

159g (5 ½ oz)

2 spring onions

3-4 sprigs of basil

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Squeeze of lemon juice

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

Method

1 preheat the oven to as high as it will go. Cut the baguette into bite-sized cubes and put in a bowl. Add 4 tbsp of the oil and mix together well with your hands.

2.Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and spread the bread out over it. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 10 minutes, until crisp (keep an eye on it, as you don’t want it to burn). Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

3.Meanwhile, chop the cucumber into bite-sized chunks. Halve the tomatoes. Trim the spring onions then slice into rings. Pick off and shred the basil leaves. Mix together the cucumber, tomatoes, spring onions, basil, and cubes of bread.

4.Stir together the remaining oil with the vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to make the dressing. Transport the dressing and salad separately and ideally combine them20 minutes before you are ready to eat, so the bread can absorbed the dressing.