This is probably my favourite salad and one of the few things that I would happily eat day after day. Having said that the tomatoes must be up to scratch for it to be a winning salad. Sweet, ripe and juicy-none of which are a given in this country. I have found a fellow locally who grows heirloom varieties so have been able to indulge my passion for this Italian classic.
- 2 red peppers, halved, deseeded and stalk removed
- ½ cucumber, peeled
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 150g rustic crusty bread such as a sourdough or slightly stale ciabatta, roughly cut into 2cm cubes
- 500g ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons capers in vinegar, drained and roughly chopped
- ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 10 basil leaves, roughly torn
- 6 anchovies, marinated or salted in oil
- 12 black olives
- Heat the grill to its highest setting. Place the peppers cut side down on the foil and cook under the grill for about 15-20 minutes until the skins are charred. Wrap the peppers in the foil and leave until cold. Peel off the skins and slice the flesh. Set aside.
- Halve the cucumber lengthways and scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon. Cut into 5mm thick slices and place in a colander. Sprinkle with a little Maldon salt and leave for 15 minutes. Rinse under cold water and pat dry. Add to the peppers.
- Pour the olive oil and vinegar into a large serving bowl. Add the bread and toss around to coat all the pieces with the oil and vinegar. Stir in the peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, capers, chilli and basil. Season well with salt and ground black pepper and leave for about 30 minutes for the flavours to marry. Stir everything again and arrange the anchovies and black olives on top.