You take stale slices of Tuscan bread (the one without salt), you soak them in water (preferably from the spring) and then squeeze and mix it with the basil leaves, finely chopped onions, sliced tomatoes, thinly sliced cucumbers, salt and pepper … and plenty of extra virgin Tuscan olive oil.
Then you leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours, once you have removed it, and CAREFUL then only, add a little vinegar and few more basil leaves. The result is a delicious dish, especially perfect for the hot season. You can let your creativity run free and add some pieces of boned anchovy, some of capers, or some olives; many like to do so. Here in San Donato we do it the traditional way, less is more! Surely though, the old women that invented panzanella won’t be offended by some change; I even think that had they had anchovies, olives, capers and other sorts they would have put them in there as well.
Recommended wine: Fattoria San Donato Rosato di San Gimignano I.G.T. Donna Miolanne