Monday, August 2, 2010

Summer Bread Salad

Summer Bread Salad

There are several recipes out there for bread salad.  Essentially you make your own croutons and toss quite a few of them with everything you can get from your summer garden.  Make your own dressing or use your favorite...we like Paul Newman's Low-Calorie Balsamic Vinaigrette.  This time I made a variation of Rebecca Rather's Rustic Bread Salad with fresh basil from the garden.  We really enjoyed this Saturday night with roasted chicken.  (See earlier post for recipe.)  I halved the recipe and we still had a huge bowl of salad, enough for leftovers the next day.  My version of the recipe is listed below, so if you have a big crowd you can easily double the salad.

Remember the salad is called "Summer Bread Salad" so the bread makes up more of the salad than the traditional croutons.  Pile them on!  The salad is very hearty and could be a meal in itself.  All the fresh summer corn and heirloom tomatoes are at their best in the summer, of course.  It's not too late to try your own version!  I know little kids can be picky about mixing everything together in one big bowl.  Why not separate a small portion of each ingredient on their plate.  Add some ranch on the side and before too long, maybe they won't notice when you mix it all together.  It's worth a try! :)

Summer Bread Salad with Roasted Chicken & Shaved Parmesan

Summer Bread Salad

1 whole round loaf of sourdough bread
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I used "Mediterranean Garlic" flavored oil for extra taste)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 ears sweet corn, shucked and boiled for 3-5 minutes
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and coarsley chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and coarsley chopped
1 medium zucchini, cut in 1/8-inch slices and quartered
1 medium yellow squash, cut in 1/8-inch slices and quartered
3/4 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 pint of sweet, yellow tomatoes, halved
1 heirloom tomato (favorite variety) cored, sliced and cut into bite size pieces
8-10 large basil leaves, cut into ribbons
1 bag of baby arugula (I used romaine and it was delicious- you could use 1/2 bag of each)
Parmesan curls, for garnish

TO MAKE THE BREAD:  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes.  Combine the melted butter, flavored olive oil and salt in a small bowl. 
Spread the cubes on baking sheet in a single layer (may take two small baking sheets) and toss with the butter mixture to coat evenly.  Bake, turning occasionally, until the cubes are browned and crisp, about 30 minutes.  Cool the bread thoroughly on the baking sheet.
TO MAKE THE SALAD:  Cut the corn kernels off the cob and place in a large serving bowl along with the bell peppers, zuchinni, squash, cherry tomatoes, basil, arugula and heirloom tomato.  Toss to mix evenly.  I kept the salad and bread separate until serving.  In fact, I combined individual servings so that leftover bread could be stored separately from the salad and still be good the next day.  For a gathering, just toss the bread into the salad right before serving.  Top with Parmesan shavings and dressing and serve immediately.

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