Sardine panzanella recipe

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This is the kind of thing that’s nice to pack into containers and take to the beach on a sunny afternoon in late August when it doesn’t matter how bad your breath is afterward. It’s bright-flavored, fresh, and filling. Make a meal of it by pairing it with Roasted Tomato & Garlic Soup and a glass or two of Vinho Verde.

  • Yield: 4 Servingsas lunch (6 as a side)

Ingredients

  • ½ loaf whole wheat day-old French bread, chopped into 1-in (2.5-cm) cubes, about 6 cups (1.5 L)
  • ½ English cucumber, quartered lengthwise and chopped into 1-in (2.5-cm) pieces, about 2 cups (500 ml)
  • 4 tomatoes, diced to 1 in (2.5 cm), about 4 cups (1 L)
  • 5.5-oz (160-g) tins water-packed sardines, drained and torn into chunks, bones removed (if preferred)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) whole basil leaves
  • 1 shallot or small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) red wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp coarse salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
How to Make It
  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Place bread cubes on a baking sheet. Toast for 2 to 3 minutes, checking frequently to make sure they haven’t burned.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cucumbers, tomatoes, sardines, basil leaves, shallots, and capers. Add bread cubes, and toss gently, using your hands.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, olive oil, fish sauce, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, and chili flakes. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed. Pour half of dressing over salad mixture, toss with your hands, then add remainder of dressing.
  5. Let panzanella rest for at least 15 minutes. Toss again before serving.
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