I first heard about this kind of salad several years ago. I was intrigued by the idea but food blogs were still mostly non-existent and I didn’t have a recipe. I decided to just try to make a bread salad.
Well, I didn’t know what the helk I was doing. I ended up with a good flavored mushy salad.
Yesterday Jake said, “Remember when you didn’t know how to cook?”
What? I thought I could always cook!
Ok, so I made a mushy salad, a LONG time ago. It’s great what years of practice and lots of food blog reading can do for a person.
This is barely a recipe. I did not measure, and I don’t think you should either. Taste, taste, taste!
- Cut 5 or 6 Cups of hearty, rustic bread into 1” pieces. I cubed, but you can tear.
- olive oil
- 6 smallish, locally grown tomatoes (Roma sized) that have NEVER been in the fridge and are ripe
- 1 Japanese cucumber (less seeds/water, but you can use whatever) peeled and cut into half moon chunks
- Sherry vinegar (balsamic would be acceptable)
- fresh Mozzarella cheese, cubed (more than a cup)
- 3 large handfuls of Arugula
- Sunflower Sprouts
- Thinly sliced red onion
- More olive oil
- Minced garlic (if you can handle it raw)
- pepper and salt to taste
- A few Tablespoons of thinly sliced basil
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees and lay the bread cubes onto a baking sheet. Pour olive oil (lots, like half a cup) over the bread and toss, rubbing it with your fingers. Sprinkle salt over the top. Toast the bread in the oven for several minutes, tossing the bread once during cooking to toast both sides. Remove when they are crouton like and golden. Let cool on the sheet. They should seem too dry. They’ll soak up liquid and soften later.
- While the bread is toasting, cut up the tomatoes and reserve the juices as much as possible. Put the tomatoes in a metal strainer/colander over a bowl. Toss the tomatoes with salt and let the juice seep into the bottom bowl for about 15 minutes. Put the onion in the tomato juice bowl.
- Put the cooled bread pieces, strained tomatoes, cucumber, arugula, sprouts, and cheese into a large bowl. Whisk a couple of glugs of olive oil, garlic, and a few Tablespoons of sherry vinegar into the bowl of tomato juices. You may want to add a little teensy bit of sugar here. Your call.
- Pour the dressing over the whole salad, add some salt and pepper, throw in the basil, and toss the salad lots of times. The bread should start taking up some of the liquid and softening. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve immediately.