Wednesday, September 08, 2004
VEGETABLE AND BREAD SALAD
I couldn’t remember the last time I tried this recipe (let alone where I found it originally), so I decided to give it a try and see whether it was worth having. I made it as a side dish with North Beach Grilled Chicken, so at least there’d be something else to eat in case the salad sucked. But you know what? It was pretty good--a nice change from green salad, and it would be a great way to use up vegetables left over from other recipes. It’s a common-sense recipe, easy, simple, summery. I’ll keep it around.
P.S. You can grill the vegetables instead of broiling them, if you prefer. If so, grill them whole and then cut them up.
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 cups diced assorted vegetables (I used a small green zucchini, a small yellow zucchini, a Portobello mushroom, and a little red onion)
1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1½ cups cubed bread (I used French; I bet foccacia would be really good)
1 handful chopped fresh herbs (basil is the most obvious candidate, but parley or cilantro would also be nice)
1. Preheat the oven broiler. Cut up all the vegetables except the tomatoes, spread them on a baking sheet, brush them with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Put the baking sheet in the oven 4-6 inches from the heat, and broil the vegetables 5 minutes per side or until browned or lightly charred on the outside and tender or tender-crisp on the inside. Take them out and set them aside to cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, heat another tablespoon of oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When it's warm, put the bread cubes in the skillet and toss them around until evenly coated with the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then cook them until they're toasty and golden brown. Take them off the burner and set them aside to cool somewhat.
3. Dice the tomatoes and put them in a large bowl with the vinegar, remaining oil, chopped herbs, and salt to taste. Add the vegetables and let everything sit for half an hour or so.
4. Just before serving, toss in the bread cubes and some pepper.
Serves: 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side dish
Time: 45 minutes