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Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)Source: Baker Jim O'Keefe, O'Keefe & Sons, Hilo
2 loaves ciabatta (Italian slipper bread), stale
2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes (Roma, preferably)
4 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed with salt
salt & fresh ground black pepper
fruity extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 T red wine vinegar
3 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled & seeded
3 yellow bell peppers, roasted, peeled & seeded
4 oz. capers
6 anchovy filets
5 oz. Kalamata olives, pitted
½ bunch warabi (½ pound) blanched, and sliced into 2" pieces
leaves from 1 bunch basil
Slice ciabatta into coarse slices, set aside.
Peel and halve tomatoes, then seed them into a sieve over a bowl to retain juice. Set tomato halves aside and discard seeds. Season the tomato juice with garlic, black pepper, 1 cup olive oil, and 2-3 T vinegar. Pour juice over bread and toss until all liquid is absorbed. Bread should be seasoned & damp, but not soggy. If more liquid is needed, use more olive oil.
Slice peppers and tomatoes into eighths, lengthwise, and gently mix together with olives, capers, basil leaves, warabi, and anchovies.
Fill a large glass serving bowl with alternating layers of soaked bread and pepper mixture, beginning with bread and ending with the pepper mix. Allow to sit, covered, one hour at room temperature. Serve moistened with additional olive oil.
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