Italian-Style Bread Salad

bread_salad_3This bread salad is perfect for those oven-hot evenings like the ones we’ve been having lately, when you really don’t feel like overworking yourself in the kitchen to prepare dinner and you certainly don’t feel like doing anything that involves the cooker or other additional heat sources. A friend of mine told me about this salad that she prepared one such hot evening, but I don’t know where she got it from and I don’t know that I have remembered all the ingredients or indeed assembled the salad as she had in accordance with the recipe she followed. I hope she doesn’t mind that I have “borrowed” it and changed it a bit. One ingredient that I voluntarily left out of it is celery root that I didn’t have in my pantry. If you should prepare this salad, feel free to add some (grated, I should think) and if you do so, let me know in what way it changed the overall flavor of the salad. Till then, here’s what makes up my summer bread salad:

bread_salad_1Ingredients:

  • 2 medium tomatoes (if you can help it, don’t go for the dull-tasting tomatoes that you’re trying to anonymously smuggle into your salad; the tastier the tomatoes, the better the final mix!!)
  • a few slices of fresh bread (ciabatta type, but it can be any kind of richly textured dense bread – the airy ones will turn the salad into a mushy mix)
  • half a pepper
  • capers
  • dried tomatoes (5-6 slices, depending on how fond you are of their quite intense flavor)
  • half a red onion (medium sized)

For the vinaigrette

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • lemon juice (as much as you like; you can also choose to add only either one of the balsamic vinegar or lemon juice)
  • 1 tbsp of grated Pecorino
  • 1 teaspoon of seedy mustard
  • salt
  • pepper

Cut the tomatoes into small cubes and put them in a sieve over a dish, so as to collect the juice. Cut the bread into cubes and place into the salad dish. Next, cut the pepper, dried tomatoes and onions into fine slices. Press down on the fresh tomatoes to extract some more juice and then prepare the vinaigrette in this dish by adding to the tomato juice the olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, the lemon juice, the mustard and salt and pepper. Mix well and then add the Pecorino and mix some more. Pour the vinaigrette over the bread and leave for some minutes for the bread to soak in the liquid. Finally, add all the vegetables, not forgetting the capers, and mix to incorporate all the ingredients.

Your tasty and refreshing dinner is ready to be served!

Useful tips: If you want to make your own dried tomatoes, this is a great place to see how it’s done.

If you want to know the difference between Parmesan and Pecorino, click here. 

I personally prefer types of cheese that are made from ewe’s milk or goat’s milk and that’s why I use Pecorino.bread_salad_2

Well, bon appetit and have a nice and hopefully not very hot rest of the week!

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