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This is a salad that goes great with just about any Summertime meal. It can be made as a side or as entrée by using the additions listed below. The only drawback – this is a dish meant to be enjoyed shortly after it is made. Make only enough to eat at one sitting. Once it sits for to long, the bread breaks apart and becomes mush. If this happens, don’t fret… add the leftover salad to a fry pan and cook down to a nice sauce (you might need to add a little more olive oil and vinegar depending on how much bread is left will determine how thick the sauce becomes. It’s yummy over pasta, fish or roasted vegetables

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 pounds mixed tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 3/4 pound ciabatta or rustic sourdough bread, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (about 6 cups bread cubes)
  • 1/2 Cup O’Live A Little’s Italian Classic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • Red Onion- minced (about 2-3 tablespoons)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 3 Tablespoons O’Live A Little’s Red Wine Vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons O’Live A Little’s Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Cup packed basil leaves, roughly chopped

Additions if desired:

  • 1 Cup crumbled Gorgonzola
  • 1 Small can of cannellini beans (drained well and blotted dry)
  • 10-12 large grilled shrimp
  • 1# of grilled beef tenderloin

Method of Preparation

  1. Place tomatoes in a colander set over a bowl and season with 2 teaspoons Pink Himalayan Sea Salt. Toss to coat. Set aside at room temperature to drain, tossing occasionally, while you toast the bread. Drain for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F and adjust rack to center position. In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crisp and firm but not browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
  3. Remove colander with tomatoes from bowl with tomato juice. Place colander with tomatoes in the sink. Add shallot, garlic, mustard, and vinegar to the bowl with tomato juice. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the remaining olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Combine toasted bread, tomatoes, and dressing in a large bowl. Add basil leaves. Toss everything to coat and season with salt and pepper. Let rest for 30 minutes before serving, tossing occasionally until dressing is completely absorbed by bread.
  5. Although this salad is deliciously perfect on its own, if a heartier version is desired it can be tossed with crumbled gorgonzola and/or cannellini beans. Even the addition of grilled shrimp of small slices of grilled beef tenderloin.
  6. If adding the additions to the salad, increasing the amount of Olive Oil and Vinegar may be needed. Toss the additions with the amount called for and add more if desired just before serving. The bread should be well infused with the dressing, but not mushy.

 

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