Tomato and Bread Salad
This is a beautiful salad with flavour to match. It’s summer in a bowl. Allow the dressing to dance with the tomatoes and peppers for about an hour; the flavour will thank you. Don’t add the croutons until the last minute because they will slurp up all the dressing and go mushy. Other than that, this recipe is totally adaptive to whatever you have in your fridge as the fried bread cubes (croutons) are the stars of this dish.
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Stale bread cut into thumbnail-size cubes
1 teaspoon coarse flaked salt
20 ripe cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 red onion, cut into thin slices
a generous handful of fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
finely chopped parsley
1 garlic clove crushed or grated
1 teaspoon finely chopped capers
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse flaked salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
To make the croutons, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan until the oil begins to ‘visually’ ripple in the pan. Add the bread cubes, stirring or tossing often, sprinkle with the salt, and fry gently until just beginning to turn golden brown. Don’t let them scorch. Set aside on a plate with kitchen towel to cool.
To make the vinaigrette, add the ingredients in a jar and shake until mixed well. No jar? Whisk in a small bowl. Set aside.
Assemble the tomatoes, peppers, and onion in a large bowl with the basil. Toss with vinaigrette, but don’t add the croutons yet. Allow to sit for at least an hour as they absorb the flavour of the salad dressing. Just before serving, mix in the croutons. Don’t mix them in too early or they’ll go mushy in dressing.