Tag Archives: bread

Panzanella

What do you do with day-old bread? Do you throw it away (I hope not), or perhaps freeze it? Maybe pulse it into breadcrumbs, or fry into fluffy French toast? Do you make croutons for soups and salads? I do all these things, but perhaps my favourite way to use stale bread is in Tuscan bread salad, or panzanella.

I suspect that each Italian household has a favourite way of making this salad. Rather than a recipe, then, the process of making panzanella follows a few simple rules. The most important thing for the success of panzanella is, first of all, the type of bread. The best for the scope would be unsalted Tuscan bread, as it holds its shape wonderfully after soaking, becoming wet but not soggy; though any good sourdough would do just fine.

To soak the bread, good wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil are required – the oil for flavour and the vinegar to add a pleasant acidic note to the salad. Finally, the vegetables. In origin, before the advent of tomatoes, these only counted sliced onion, cucumber, torn basil, and other herbs such as wild rocket and purslane (as reported by Emiko). Tomatoes made their way into this salad in recent times only, though quickly gaining the role of key ingredient.

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Strawberries and Cream French Toast

This is one for the lazy, indulgent weekend breakfast – a French toast featuring some plump late-spring strawberries and dollop of crème fraiche.

The strawberries have been simply roasted with a little sugar to enhance their natural sweetness. I also used day-old sourdough bread instead of brioche, but feel free to go with your favourite vessel.

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Venetian Raisin Buns

raisin buns raisin_buns-3

Raisin buns appear in some of my sweetest childhood memories. Every now and then, Mum would buy me one at the local bakery. I was then allowed to have it for breakfast the morning after, slathered with jam. Small or big, round or long, I loved them to bits. That sort of breakfast was (and still is) truly unbeatable.


These raisin buns are far from fancy. They are just bundles of buttery, milky dough studded with raisins and glazed with some egg wash to make them golden on top. And yet, they hit all my soft spots, not least because they are never too sweet and can act as a vessel for some moreish toppings – butter and jam, surely, but also ricotta and honey, or even cheese and ham.

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Broad Bean and Pecorino Bruschetta


Life rolls fast these days, and so does the cooking. Meals have been simple around here lately – stripped back, essential. The host of green produce that is finally coming into season helps me to keep things uncomplicated and yet somehow exciting. Even the simplest of salads or a toastie can turn into a feast in its own right.

We love things on toast around here, and we tend to eat them often, so I always keep a loaf of bread at the ready. At this time of the year, we have been eating toast with smashed fresh peas with mint and feta; with artichokes, or spring vegetables and burrata; or, like in this case, with broad beans and pecorino.

The recipe isn’t much of a recipe per se, but rather a serving suggestion. For two people, start with about 500 gr of fava beans (in their pod). Shell the beans, blanch them for 30 seconds in boiling water, drain them and let them sit in an ice bath for 5 minutes. Peel and discard the outer shells, then place the beans in a bowl. Season with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, good olive oil, and some lemon juice. Meanwhile, toast some sourdough or baguette. Season with olive oil, then arrange the fava beans on the bread, shave some pecorino on top, and serve with some micro greens (totally optional) or some freshly torn mint leaves. Serve.

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Beer Bread

I am leaving for Berlin to see a dearest friend from college, so I made this quick beer bread for snacking on the road. It’s wholesome and nourishing and has that perfect balance of sweet and savoury, which makes it great with a layer of almond butter as much as with some slices of cheese and cured meats.

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