Weekly Winner: Summer on a Plate

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This is another one of those recipes that I just couldn’t believe had not already been inducted into the “Weekly Winner” hall of fame.  This is an absolute staple in our house — especially during the summer, and even more especially as a lunch on the days I head to the Green City Market to do my shopping because I can get everything there.  But apparently, I’ve never written about it.  So here goes.

This salad epitomizes summer.  I have always been a sucker for any form of panzanella salad but this is definitely my favorite.  It just works – nd it could not be easier.  There is also no need to worry about heating up the kitchen as the bread is grilled.  I do believe grilling the bread is vital.  Yes, you could technically bake it, broil it or even just use day-old bread in this salad but it wouldn’t have the smoky, essence of summer that it does with the grilled bread.

The recipe comes from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food.  During the summer, when tomatoes are at their peak, I could easily eat this everyday.

Tomato and Grilled-Bread Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients

1/2 pound country bread, cut into 3/4 inch thick slices

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp olive oil

3 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 3/4 inch dice

1 cucumber, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch dice

1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil, torn into bite-size pieces

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

salt and pepper

Procedure:

Heat grill to medium.  Brush the bread slices on both sides with 2 tablespoons oil.  Grill until lightly charred on both sides, 3-4 minutes.  Let cool slightly, then cut into large cubes.

In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with tomatoes, cucumber, and basil.  Drizzle with vinegar and remaining 1/4 cup oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Toss to combine and serve.

 

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