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main courses | serves 4
"This was probably an invention of necessity," says Fifteen London's executive chef Andrew Parkinson."Italians waste nothing and this salad utilises stale bread. Originating in the areas of Tuscany, Umbria and the Marche, panzanella is first recorded in 16th-century literature, though without the tomatoes as they weren't part of the Italian kitchen then. It's a lovely summer dish - the bread soaks up the oil and vinegar, also taking in the ripe tomato juices, and you can ring the changes by adding any seasonal vegetables you like."
1. Rub the cut garlic inside a large mixing bowl, then add the bread, tomatoes, onion, capers and basil and mix together. Add generous splashes of olive oil and vinegar and season generously. Leave the salad to soak up the flavours while you cook the fish.
2. Heat a grill or frying pan until very hot. Season and lightly oil the tuna and cook for about 3–4 minutes on each side, depending on thickness and how you like it cooked. Spoon a generous amount of panzanella on 4 plates, place the tuna on the salad and finish with a spoonful of pesto, if you like, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
Recipe Andrew Parkinson
Photo Jonathan Gregson
from Issue 9
ingredients• 1 garlic clove, and halved
• 400g stale, dense country bread, torn into chunks
• 800g mixed tomatoes (plum, beef, yellow and red cherry vine), roughly chopped
• 1 red onion, diced
• 30g small capers, washed
• 1 bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked and torn
• Extra-virgin olive oil
• Red wine vinegar
• 4 x 150–200g fillets tuna loin
• 4 tsp pesto (optional)