The Spier Seaward Chardonnay’s citrus, nectarine and vanilla notes and creamy palate make it an excellent accompaniment to our take on panzanella.
This hearty Italian toasted bread salad is made with tomatoes, basil, red onion and capers, but we love to add roasted chicken to turn it into a meaty lunch (best enjoyed at room temperature). It’s almost like a toasted chicken and tomato sandwich, deconstructed!
A store-bought rotisserie chicken is the easiest way, but you can also use leftover roast chicken from last night’s dinner. The quality of the bread is also essential, as regular white bread will go soggy with the dressing, whereas good quality sourdough bread chunks retain their shape. Get your Vadas sourdough loaf from the Spier online store.
4-6 thick slices of artisanal sourdough bread
30-45ml olive oil
Salt and pepper
250g tomatoes, sliced into bite-sized chunks
1 medium yellow pepper, sliced
½ red onion, finely sliced
2 tablespoons baby capers (or regular capers)
a generous handful of basil leaves
2-3 cups roasted chicken, deboned, sliced (from a rotisserie chicken)
½ cup pecorino cheese, shaved or grated
For the dressing:
60ml extra virgin olive oil
60ml red wine vinegar
1 small clove garlic, finely grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
Make the croutons: use your hands to tear the slices of bread into chunky croutons, then place them in a large pan over medium heat. Drizzle all over with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toast the bread chunks until lightly brown and crispy on the edges, then remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly while making the salad.
Make the salad: in a large mixing bowl, add the sliced tomatoes, yellow pepper, red onion, capers, basil, chicken and toasted croutons. In a smaller bowl or jug, add the ingredients for the dressing, mix well, and then pour all over the salad. Toss to coat all over, then tip the salad out on a serving platter. Top with pecorino shavings and serve at once.
About the wine:
Spier’s Seaward range is inspired by the Cape’s unique coastal terroir. The Chardonnay is made with grapes that are handpicked in the Durbanville Hills, less than 25km from the icy Atlantic. The Atlantic’s cooling breezes allow the vines to thrive in optimal conditions for gradual ripening. Coupled with dryland irrigation – which intensifies flavours – the result is a Chardonnay with great concentration, balance and finesse, all underpinned by an elegant, saline minerality.
Spier wines can be tasted and purchased at the farm in Stellenbosch and are widely available at retail outlets and supermarkets and online from shop.spier.co.za.