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This salad was created by thrifty Italian cooks who wanted a way to use day-old bread. This salad is perfect for the summer months when tomatoes are at their juiciest and other fresh garden vegetables and herbs abound.
6 (1/2-inch thick) slices day-old sourdough bread, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup Carapelli extra virgin olive oil, divided in half
2 lbs. (4 large) ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
1/2 cup finely sliced red onion
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne strips
2 cloves garlic, pressed
red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Brush bread pieces with half of the olive oil. Place bread on baking sheet and place in a 350°F oven until lightly toasted and slightly dry, for about 8-10 minutes. Set bread aside to cool. Meanwhile, in bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, onion, basil and garlic. Add cooled bread pieces; toss well. Drizzle salad with remaining olive oil and season to taste with red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Serves 6-8.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes