Italian Peach Panzanella

This bread salad is bursting with summery flavors: sweet peaches, ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and fragrant mint and basil–all served with crunchy ciabatta croutons. Panzanella originally comes from Tuscany. It’s usually a simple salad made with tomatoes and stale bread. I like to grill the bread in a griddle pan, to add a smoky dimension to the salad. The bread will soak up some of the lovely dressing, while still retaining a bit of crunch.

Ingredients

2 shallots
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 ripe peaches
2 white ciabatta bread rolls
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
18 ounces cherry tomatoes
2 mozzarella balls
¼ cup fresh mint
¼ cup fresh basil
4 slices parma ham
Sea salt
Pepper

Ingredients for the dressing

¼ cup red wine vinegar
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon honey

 

Preparation

Peel and finely slice the shallots, then put them into a little bowl; add the red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt. Leave this to macerate while preparing the rest.
Cut each peach into 8 slices and put them into a serving bowl.
Slice open the bread rolls and brush them with olive oil on each side.
Heat a griddle pan until it’s really hot, then grill the oiled ciabatta until charred marks appear on each side. Set aside to cool.
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add to the bowl with the peaches.
Tear the mozzarella into chunks and add to the bowl, together with the mint and basil.
Whisk all the salad dressing ingredients together in a little bowl and pour over the salad, together with the shallots and their liquid.
Tear the bread into chunks and scatter over the salad, toss the salad, season with salt and pepper, and leave it to soak for 10 minutes before serving.
Just before serving, scatter pieces of parma ham over each portion.