Panzanella with Crispy Sausage and Bocconcini

, from Issue #63. November, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Panzanella with Crispy Sausage and Bocconcini

A great combination of fresh, crunchy and cooked components, this salad doesn’t need any accompaniments apart from a glass of chilled wine! 

Serves: 4


6 medium vine tomatoes
½ baguette ripped into chunks
1 eggplant, diced 2cm pieces
5 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
To assemble
5 pork and fennel sausages, skins removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 punnet mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
1 roasted red capsicum, sliced
1 cup black olives
handful rocket leaves
small handful fresh basil
200 grams bocconcini or mozzarella in whey, drained


Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake.

Cut the tomatoes in half and place in a large bowl with the bread and eggplant. 

Whisk 3 tablespoons each of the oil and vinegar in a separate bowl, add the garlic, whisk again and pour over the top then turn everything to coat. Place in a single layer on a lined baking tray, putting the tomatoes to one side of the tray and season everything well.

Roast for about 25 minutes until the bread is golden and crisp and the eggplant is tender. Remove the tomatoes when cooked and collapsing and place them in a bowl.

Pinch off the skins and discard. Whisk the remaining oil and vinegar into the tomatoes and season. 

To assemble: Heat the oil in a sauté pan and add the sausages in rough chunks.

Cook until golden and crispy on the outside. Drain on kitchen towels.

Place all the ingredients, except the bocconcini, in a large bowl and pour over the tomato dressing, turning to combine.

To serve: Transfer to a large serving bowl and dot over the bocconcini, then drizzle with a little olive oil and ground pepper.