This is one of those recipes that doesn’t really have a recipe. It’s the perfect summer side dish or main course. Just when the tomatoes are plentiful, raid your garden and use up some of your good fresh vegetables and herbs. If you don’t like onions, cut back on the amount. If you love garlic, add a bit more. Basic to the recipe are bread, tomatoes, fresh basil, and oil and vinegar. Adjust the rest to your taste. I make it with fresh mozzarella as a main course during the summer and add a little more balsamic vinegar because I love the sweet/tart taste.
Servings: 4 hearty main coursePrep Time: 15 mins. plus hour wait time
1 small loaf stale bread (about 6 cups) diced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved or 6 large tomatoes diced
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
1-2 bell peppers (yellow & red) or sweet banana pepper, diced
1/2 red or sweet onion, halved & thinly sliced
10-20 large basil leaves chopped or thinly sliced
1 tablespoon other fresh herbs–parsley, oregano, marjoram or combination–finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely minced
cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine or balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 cup diced fresh mozzarella OR diced cold chicken OR thawed, peeled cooked shrimp OR diced feta cheese and Greek olives.
If you don’t have stale bread, place bread cubes on a baking sheet, spray with cooking spray, and toast in a 300 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
Combine bread, diced cucumber, bell peppers, onion, basil, and other herbs in a large bowl. Whisk together vinaigrette and toss to combine thoroughly with bread mixture.
Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour or more for bread to absorb vegetable juices and vinaigrette. Serve as a side dish with grilled chicken or pork. Or add leftover chicken or feta and olives or fresh mozzarella and serve as a main course.
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