This panzanella is a stunning side dish or meal in itself.  Best made when tomatoes are at their peak, but if using out of season tomatoes, make sure they are lovely and ripe, or this dish will lose some of its oomph.  I use my favourite gluten free bread here, but if GF isn’t an issue for you, simply use a good quality, Vienna or Italian, thick cut, crusty loaf.

Quick, easy and scrum-didily-umptious!

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Ingredients:

(serve 4)

8 thick cut slices of GF bread cut into chunks

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for dressing)

8-10 vine ripened or very ripe tomatoes

1 bunch basil , leaves picked

Salt and pepper

Method:

Heat a large frypan over medium/hot heat and add the olive oil.

Add the bread chunks to the pan and fry, turning constantly, until browned and crisp.

Remove from the pan and allow to drain and cool on a plate lined with paper towel.

Thickly dice the tomatoes and add to a large serving bowl.

Add the bread and coat, allowing the juices of the tomatoes to soak into the bread.

Season with salt and pepper.

Toss through the basil and drizzle with a little extra oil (if you feel it needs it).

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Serve the panzanella as is, or as a side dish to accompany a BBQ or alongside pan fried chicken breast.

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