Panzanella with Roasted Peppers, Tomatoes and Basil

This has been a weekend of sporting events. Last night the Stanley Cup Playoffs game between the New Jersey Devils and the L. A. Kings ended with a 3 game to 2 lead for L.A. In spite Los Angeles having a 3-0 lead in the series, the Devils worked hard to regain their competitive place in this challenging series.

The NBA eastern conference semi-finals ended last night as the Miami Heat won over the Boston Celtics in game 7 of the series. I was sad to see the Celtics lose because they are a team steeped in history and have a line up that belongs in the basketball hall of fame. There was a lot of media hype about the age of the players but in my mind they played each game with the wisdom and perseverance of a seasoned team.

Today the Euro 2012 soccer matches are broadcasting throughout the day. Earlier today, long time rivals Italy and Spain ended their match in a 1-1 tie. My daughter, son-in-law and grandson came over to watch the Ireland vs Croatia match. My son-in-law is from Dublin and played soccer there as a young boy. My 17 month old grandson is already starting to kick around a soccer ball.

I think watching sports together as a family builds bonds and lasting memories. We each take our own perspective and vote for our favourite teams or players. We make sportsmen’s bets on who will win and get very excited as we watch each play unfold.

It makes me feel contented to have the kids over for an afternoon game and a meal. I love to make simple, comforting food for everyone to enjoy. This Italian Panzanella is a hearty peasant style salad made from tomatoes, roasted red peppers and stale bread. The flavours of the oil, the fresh basil and vegetables are infused into the bread creating a burst of flavour in every bite.

Panzanella with Roasted Peppers, Tomatoes and Basil


6 oz. stale country bread, cut into 1/4 inch cubes (about 4 cups of cubes)
1 red roasted bell pepper, roughly diced
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper
large handful fresh basil leaves


Combine bread, peppers, and tomatoes together in a bowl. Whisk the vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and anchovies together in a small bowl and drizzle over salad. Tear the basil, toss everything together with your hands, and let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Distribute the panzanella on plates, drizzling each with a little extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Recipe modified from My Father’s Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow


3 thoughts on “Panzanella with Roasted Peppers, Tomatoes and Basil

  1. Peggy, thanks for this! You have inspired me this spring to eat with more flavor and to enjoy fresh food. Just had fava beans tossed in garlic and olive oil over greens with a little romano – thanks to your example. Crushed over the Celtics game last night. I love watching seasoned pros like Garnett and Allen play smart. Thanks again.

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