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MasterChef NZ winner Aaron Brunet shares his Panzanella recipe to breathe new life into stale bread.

20 Minutes

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  • 3 slices stale bread
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 small tomatoes, quartered + sprinkled with salt
  • 1/2 capsicum, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 100g cooked chicken, shredded
  • Handful of coriander, chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled and cut into pieces
  • Wedge of lime to serve (optional)


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C fanbake.
  2. Cut the bread into small bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with olive oil and lemon juice, then add lemon zest, salt and pepper. Toss to mix then spread on an oven tray and bake for 12 – 15 mins till crispy and browned on the edges.
  3. Tip crunchy bread back into a bowl, then add the tomatoes and mix around by hand to combine. This allows the juice of the tomato to coat the bread with extra flavour and is a key step to making this delicious. Add capsicum, chicken and chilli then mix again.
  4.  Add the avocado and coriander, toss gently and serve in a bowl with wedges of lime to squeeze on top.
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