This Tuscan inspired recipe is a beautiful mix of fresh tomatoes, basil, bread and onions dressed with a simple olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing. I love adding olives and roasted capsicum to this traditional recipe. The addition of pan fried okra and lemon gives the dish an interesting textural twist. The salad is a great way to use up leftover tomatoes and bread. If you only have fresh bread, just leave the bread uncovered on a plate to dry for an hour or or so or dry it out a little on low heat in the oven.
Tuscan Style Okra Panzanella
Author: Lisa Holmen
- 1 tbp olive oil
- 8 okra, sliced into 2 cm pieces
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- Pinch sea salt
- ½ lemon
- 250 g day old ciabatta or sourdough loaf, coarsely torn
- 600 g ripe mixed tomatoes, diced
- ½ tsp caster sugar
- ½ red onion , finely diced
- 1 red capsicum
- 1 yellow capscium
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup of fresh basil
- 50g kalamata olives
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200C. On an oven tray lined with baking paper, add the capsicums and roast for 20 minutes until the skin blisters and starts to go black. Once cooled, deseed and cut into small strips.
- In the meantime, prepare the okra. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium – high heat. Add the garlic, sea salt and okra and cook until golden and slightly crispy. Take off the heat and leave to cool slightly then add a squeeze of lemon juice and season to your liking.
- Combine the tomatoes in a large bowl and add ½ teaspoon of caster sugar to sweeten slightly in its own juices for 20 minutes.
- Add the onion, capsicums, okra, and ciabatta to the tomato mix then sprinkle the red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Season as required.
- Top with basil leaves and kalamata olives.