Very rarely is there bread left in this house. We are the family who will take a loaf out of the oven and descend on it promptly. And I mean prompt. I have even caught all three of us sisters tearing bread in such an urgent fashion that we didn’t have time for a knife. Shortly after this savage act we will plod around in some sort of carb coma feeling slightly regretful but also very full. This will be followed by moans claiming we no longer have room for tea. Mum for all the delicious dinners you have prepared that I then have recked with a wheat based starter, I am sorry. And so in complete contradiction I give you a recipe to use up old bread. In hindsight I probably photographed this recipe simply to record the fact that bread did once make it past the 24-48hr mark in our house. A historic moment indeed.
Notes: The vegetables in this dish really can be substituted for most things. It is the ideal recipe for leftovers so please chop and change as much as you want. Heck, you could even omit all veg completely and just serve a cheese and bread ‘salad’ – I won’t tell if you don’t. If you are using beetroot you can substitute vacuum packed stuff. It is pre cooked so only needs the second roasting – i.e sliced and roasted instead of roasting the whole root initially, then slicing.
ROASTED ROOT PANZANELLA
Makes one large bowl, to serve 4-6
2-3 medium sized carrots, split in half
2-3 large beetroots
several handfuls of mixed leaves, I used rocket (leaf and flowers), beetroot, basil, watercress, and any herbs you can get your hands on. It’s a bit of a free for all this one!
4-5 white radishes, or any colour you can get your hands on
3 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds
4 thick slices of stale bread, sourdough is best
6 tbsp olive oil + 6 tbsp for the dressing
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cider vinegar
salt and pepper to season
75g yoghurt mixed with 1 tbsp of lemon juice and a pinch of salt, to serve
Begin by preparing the veg. Scrub the beetroot then wrap in tin foil. Roast at 200C for 20-30 minutes of until soft. Peel and slice into eighths, or wedges depending on the size of the root. Coat in some olive oil and return to the oven. Roast for a further 10-15 minutes or until beginning to colour on the edges. Whilst this is happening boil the carrots for 5 minutes just to softened them a little. In a separate tray coat the carrots in oil and roast as you are for the beetroots. Next heat a pan until almost smoking. Add the bread and char lightly on each side. Allow to pieces to cool. Take the pan of the heat but add all the seeds and move around. Keep mixing until fragrant and popping slightly. If the seeds aren’t toasting return to the hob, but the residual heat should be enough. Take a large bowl and whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar alongside salt and pepper. Add the roasted veg and tear the bread in. Chop the radish into thin discs and add into the bowl. Toss to coat then add the leaves and seeds. If making ahead keep the leaves separate until serving. Transfer into a serving bowl and add dollops of yoghurt, or a separate bowl for people to help them selves.