Panzanella croccante con La Poverella

(= Crunchy Panzanella with La Poverella)

Ingredients for 4 people:4 large ripe ripe tomatoes1 clove of garlic15 fresh basil leaves (+ 5 to use as a garnish)a pinch of oregano4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil salt400 g stale Tuscan bread (at least 2 days old)200 g red onion1 stalk of celery1 cucumber cucumber2 carrot6 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil1 tbsp Tuscan red wine vinegar I.G.T. salt

First of all prepare the Poverella: Wash the tomatoes and pat them dry. Cut them into pieces and tip them into a large bowl with the chopped clove of garlic, the basil leaves, previously washed and dried, and the oregano; season with salt and leave to rest for 10 minutes. In the meanwhile cut the bread into thick slices, then into cubes (measuring approx. 2 cm) and arrange them in a baking tin, well spaced out. Take your “Poverella” and strain off the water released by the tomatoes into a small bowl; use two tablespoons of it to evenly dampen the cubes of bread. Put them in a preheated oven, at 200 °C, for 5-10 minutes, just long enough so that the bread begins to colour and becomes crisp; then take them out of the oven and leave to cool. Wash and clean the other vegetables and cut them into small pieces, except the onion which should be sliced into thin rings. When the cubes of bread have cooled down, mix them with the Poverella and the other vegetables in a bowl. Season with oil, vinegar and salt, and give everything another good stir. For a finishing touch – garnish the Panzanella with the basil leaves you set aside and a few slices of onion. Make sure you serve it cold (put it in the fridge for at least half an hour before bringing it to the table).