John Torode's summer panzanella salad
With a heatwave breaking across the UK, the last thing you want to do is slave over a hot stove! John's in the kitchen with a fresh light al fresco inspired dish to cool us down. His classic panzanella salad is served up with delicious pan fried bream for a tasty dinner that's best eaten when the sun's shining!
1kg sourdough bread, one day old
1kg ripe tomatoes
300ml olive oil
50ml sherry vinegar
100ml red wine vinegar
6 cloves garlic, minced
5 red onions, peeled and sliced
100g drained capers in brine
100g anchovies, washed
large bunch basil, leaves only, roughly chopped
large bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. To make the salad, remove half the crusts from bread and cut into 2cm dice.
2. Cut tomatoes into chunks and salt well, leave to one side
3. In a bowl combine oil, both vinegars, garlic, salt and pepper and add 100-150ml water. Mix well and adjust with more vinegar or salt and pepper.
4. Toss the bread through the dressing and leave to soak up the liquid.
5. Mix the rest of the salad ingredients with the bread and toss well. Add the tomatoes and toss again. Serve with the fish.
Pan fried sea bream fillets
2 fillets of Sea Bream (or bass) pin boned BUT skin left on
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1. Place the fish flesh side down on a chopping board and pat it so it is completely dry. Squeeze the sides of the fillets so the whole thing lifts up like a mountain and, using a sharp knife, make three incisions in the skin to the flesh at equal distances from each other. It should look equal, neat and pretty.
2. Heat the pan over a medium heat for a good few minutes until hot. Place the oil in the pan and add the fish, skin side down, holding the tail so the thick end hits the pan first.
3. Turn the heat to high and now press the fish down so that it is flat in the pan - DO NOT SHUFFLE THE PAN OR ATTEMPT TO MOVE THE FISH AS THE SKIN WILL COME AWAY. Cook for 2 minutes watching that it does not burn.
4. The edges should now be starting to colour and be a little brown. Check the tail end of the fish and if well coloured, turn off the heat and flip over onto the flesh side. Sprinkle the skin with a little salt and a grind of pepper and leave to sit in the pan for another 2 minutes off the heat, the residual heat will do the work. Serve.
Note - the skin should be browned and crisp, this means the skin can be eaten or peeled away easily and put to one side if people don’t like skin.