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Bread Crumb Salsa

  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup


Source: Chez Panisse Café Cookbook

Notes: You’ve all been pulsing your stale bread and storing the crumbs in the freezer, right? Well, if you are, this salsa will come together in a snap. The toasted bread crumbs add the most wonderful texture to the salsa and amazingly the salsa still tastes good after a day or two in the fridge. I don’t recommend making it that far in advance — it’s best to mix it just before serving — but should you have any leftover meat or salsa, you have the makings of a nice little lunch: chop up the cold meat, toss it with the bread crumb salsa, and serve it with warm naan or in Bibb lettuce or Romaine cups — so good!

Also, double this recipe if you are serving for 4 or more people. I’ve made it three times now, twice in a double batch (as it’s written in the Chez Panisse Cookbook) and once halved, as it’s written here. The first time I made it, I used basil exclusively for the herbs because it was all I had, and it was delicious, but I love it equally with parsley and thyme — just feel free to use what herbs you like best.

This salsa would also be lovely with rack of lamb.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • kosher salt
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme or sage
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and minced
  • 2 salt-packed anchovies*, cleaned and chopped
  • kosher salt to taste

*Oil-packed anchovies are just fine, too. Notes from Bloomfield on cleaning salt-packed anchovies: Rinse the anchovies one at a time under cold running water, rubbing them gently between your fingers to get the salt off. Put them in a small bowl and add just enough cold water to cover. After about a minute — if you soak them for too long they’ll lose their umami quality — give them another quick rinse. To fillet the anchovies, hold one under cold, gently running water. Pull off the loose muck near the head and at the belly. Rub the outside to remove any remaining salt or hard bits. Keeping the anchovy under the water, gently work a fingertip along the belly to start to separate the fillets. Gently pull the fillets apart. Pinch the backbone and gently pull it off whichever fillet it is sticking to. Discard it. Repeat with remaining anchovies.


  1. Heat a medium (or large if you are making a double batch) skillet over high heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil starts looking hot, add the bread crumbs and a pinch of kosher salt and turn the heat down to medium. Stir frequently until the pan starts to cool down and the bread crumbs are toasting evenly. Toast until golden all over. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, place minced shallots in a small bowl and cover with the vinegar. Let stand for at least 15 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the oil, chopped herbs, minced capers and minced anchovies.
  4. Just before serving, add the toasted bread crumbs and macerated shallots to the bowl of oil and herbs. Stir to combine.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes