using up summer's bounty

IMG_8994.jpg

I've had this particular salad on my mind, waiting to make it for when I knew other adults would enjoy it with me.  (Bobby's not so keen on cucumbers.)  Caroline's birthday dinner a few nights ago with her two grandmas was the night.

I love pulling out recipes that call for everything I have on hand--and better yet-- things we've grown or baked.  This annual summer recipe calls for both: tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh basil and day-old bread.  I'm always thrilled to find ways to use up the end of our homemade bread.  (It usually turns into toast the following morning.)  This was a nice change.

tomato and grilled-bread salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound country bread or day-old bread, cut into 1-inch-thick cubes
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 4 cups)
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
(Recipe adapted from [amazon_link id="0307354164" target="_blank" ]Everyday Food: Great Food Fast[/amazon_link].)

Directions

         1.   Saute cubed bread in 2 TBSP olive oil at medium heat for a few minutes on each side until crispy.  Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, toss tomatoes, cucumber, and basil together.

3.  Mix vinegar and remaining 1/4 cup oil in a separate bowl and season with salt and pepper.

4.  Add bread cubes to tomato mixture, drizzle oil mixture, and toss to combine.

Serve!

The flavors are absolutely perfect together.  Your teeth sink into the crispy bread cubes right when your taste buds are looking for something different from the intense garden flavors.  I love this salad.  Even a day later when the bread cubes are totally soggy it is heaven to me.  That totally grosses out Bobby.  Hey-- more for me.  :)

the sleepy time gal