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Panzanella from Theo Randall at the Intercontinental

Cook at Home

Try Theo’s take on this classic Italian dish and popular summer salad, Panzanella (Tuscan tomato and bread salad):

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love this salad. It’s a traditional Italian way to use up leftover bread. There are other versions, but this is a very simple way to make it. If you only have very soft, fresh bread, try baking it for a few minutes to harden, then it will absorb the dressing without going soggy.

Theo Randall


Prep Time

30 mins

Cooking Time

10 mins


For the salad

  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 loaf of dry ciabatta bread
  • 300g heritage tomatoes, preferably of mixed colours
  • 1 heaped tsp small capers in vinegar, drained
  • a few anchovy fillets (packed in oil)

For the dressing

  • 400g ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 5 anchovy fillets (packed in oil)
  • small bunch of basil
  • 150ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 heaped tsp small capers in vinegar, drained
  •  sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


To make the red peppers

  • Preheat a hot grill and char the red peppers on all sides.
  • Put them in a bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before scraping off the charred skin with a serrated knife.
  • Rinse off the seeds, then rip the peppers into 1cm strips. Set aside.

To make the dressing

  • Make the dressing while the peppers are cooling in the bowl.
  • Score the skin of the tomatoes, then put them into a pan of boiling water and leave to blanch for 1 minute.
  • Lift into a bowl of cold water with a slotted spoon, then peel off the skins.
  • Crush the garlic with 1 tsp sea salt in a pestle and mortar until smooth.
  • Add the anchovies and half the basil, pounding to a paste. 
  • Squeeze the peeled tomatoes to a pulp, then add to the garlic and anchovies.
  • Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar and capers. Mix well together.
  • Remove the crusts from the ciabatta, then cut into 2cm pieces.
  • Put them in a large salad bowl and add the grilled peppers.
  • Pour over the anchovy and tomato dressing and toss well so the bread can soak up all the dressing.
  • Roughly cut up the heritage tomatoes and toss with the rest of the basil leaves in a separate bowl.
  • Spread the tomatoes and basil over the top of the salad, then add the capers and a few whole anchovy fillets.
  • Clean up the sides of the bowl before serving.

Theo Randall at The InterContinental Park Lane, One Hamilton Place,
Park Lane, London W1J 7QY

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