This is a twist on the traditional panzanella using a variety of vegetables cooked with sugar and vinegar to give them an extra kick! This dish can be served warm or cold and, if you increase the quantities, makes a lovely light lunch.
1 small carrot, peeled, cut into matchsticks (julienne)
120g/4oz celeriac, peeled, cut into matchsticks (julienne)
125ml/4fl oz extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 anchovy fillets
2 shallots, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
½ red pepper, seeds removed, cut into matchsticks (julienne)
½ yellow pepper, seeds removed, cut into matchsticks (julienne)
½ aubergine, cut into matchsticks (julienne)
1 small courgette, cut into matchsticks (julienne)
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g/3½oz country bread, toasted
8 basil leaves, roughly torn
Blanch the carrot and celeriac strips in a pan of boiling salted water for five minutes. Drain well and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large lidded frying pan and stir in the anchovies. Cook until they have almost dissolved into the oil. Add the shallots and garlic and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until softened.
Add the peppers, aubergine and courgette strips and continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes, then stir in the thyme leaves, sugar and vinegar, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Carefully add the blanched carrot and celeriac to the pan, cover with a lid and cook for five minutes.
Remove the lid and cook for a further five minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Break the country bread slices into bite-sized pieces and arrange in a serving dish. Top with the vegetables, scatter over the basil leaves and drizzle with a little oil.
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