(with yellow peppers and cucumbers)
This salad is a great use of old bread, and yet has a lot of fresh vegetables. It’s easy enough to make as a week night side to some grilled chicken, or flavorful enough to serve to a dinner party.
1 loaf of rustic bread, cut or torn into 1-inch cubes or pieces
½ cup, and 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
2 “pints” tomatoes, halved (feel free to exchange for heirloom or your favorite kind)
½ hothouse cucumber, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and julienned
½ cup pitted and halved kalamata olives
2 tablespoons dried Italian Herbs
1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
2. In a bowl, toss the bread with 3 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. (Feel free to add some dried herbs here.) Spread the bread on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly crisp (just on the outside).
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, Dijon, and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisking constantly, add the ½ cup extra virgin olive oil in a stream until thoroughly mixed.
4. Add the tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, and olives, then toss with the vinaigrette. Adjust the salt and pepper if needed. Allow to soak while bread is baking. (If you have capers, I would add them in too!)
(Note: I had to hold the cucumbers until the very end due to my brother-in-law being allergic.)
5. Combine dried herbs, vegetables with bread and toss to coat. Allow to rest for 20 minutes to allow the juices to soak into the bread.
(If needed, add more olive oil to make the salad more moist.)
Serve room temperature.