This simple, classic Italian salad is a mix of delicious, ripe, summer tomatoes and day old bread – the bread needs to be on the dry side to soak up all the tomato juices. I recommend using a hearty loaf for this, such as- whole wheat, sourdough, or country-style hearth bread. Heirloom tomatoes are perfect for this salad- look for a variety of colors and levels of sweetness.
- 1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
- 6 oz day-old whole wheat bread
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1⁄4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
- 1⁄2 cup basil leaves, torn
- 1-pound ripe tomatoes, any variety, cut into bite size pieces
- 3 cups loosely packed mixed salad greens
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- In a small bowl cover the sliced shallots with boiling water. Let sit for 15 minutes, then drain.
- Cut the whole wheat bread into 1⁄2-inch pieces. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking tray. Toast in the oven, turning occasionally, until slightly golden, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
- While the croutons are baking, in a large bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice. Stir in the olives, basil, shallots and tomatoes.
Toss the tomato mixture with the toasted bread and mixed salad greens. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.