Bread and Tomatoes — Part One (Salad)

This week, I’ve got two awesome recipes to share: a salad and a soup, and here’s the kicker — they both have the same ingredients!

We’re having a wonderful summer here in Seattle and it’s fresh tomato season, thanks to the beautiful weather. Once my vines start producing red, ripe fruit, I immediately start coming up with all sorts of different recipes designed to make the fresh tomato flavors shine.

Bread SaladThis first recipe is an amazing bread salad. Yes, it’s a salad for the carb lover!

Bread salad is a classic Tuscan dish and my recipe stays close to its true origin. This classic probably started as a way to use stale, leftover bread. I like to use half of a fresh artisans loaf and save the other half for the second recipe this week: my Pappa al Pomodoro soup.

So, let’s take these ingredients, common to this week’s salad and soup — tomatoes, artisanal bread and other classic Italian flavors — and make a little Tuscan magic.

how good is that

Tuscan Bread Salad
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  1. 2 pounds of fresh tomatoes, cut into large but bite size wedges
  2. ½ loaf of fresh artisanal bread (such as a Como from Grand Central Bakery)
  3. 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  4. ¼ cup olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
  5. 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  6. ½ cucumber, diced
  7. ½ cup chopped kalamata olives
  8. 2 teaspoons salt
  9. 1 teaspoon pepper
  10. 1 cup baby basil or 1 cup torn fresh basil leaves
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the bread into 1 inch cubes; toss them on a baking sheet with the 3 tablespoons olive oil. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden and toasted. Remove from oven and let cool.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the vinegar and oil with the garlic, set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes, cucumber, olives and bread cubes. Drizzle with the dressing until the bread cubes soak up the liquid, but don’t get soggy. Season with the salt and pepper (add more to taste, if you’d like). Finish by tossing in the basil.
Shaun Myrick