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Sweet and sour bread salad

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Preparation method

  1. Blanch the carrot and celeriac strips in a pan of boiling salted water for five minutes. Drain well and set aside.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Carefully add the blanched carrot and celeriac to the pan, cover with a lid and cook for five minutes.

  5. Remove the lid and cook for a further five minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  6. 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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