Tomato and Bread Salad is a resourceful way to turn day-old bread and an abundance of summer tomatoes into something delicious. This is actually one of my favorite salads, one I could eat every day for lunch during the height of tomato season.
Although bread salad, called panzanella in Italy, is most often associated with Italian cooking, it is actually a pan-Mediterranean salad. The Lebanese version, called fattoush, uses stale pita and has a few more vegetables. In Greece it is called dakos, and features feta and cucumbers in addition to the tomatoes and stale bread. In truth, this salad is very versatile, which is why it is often referred to as “leftover salad.” But I prefer the spare Tuscan version, which reduces the salad to just the essentials.
Tomato and Bread Salad
Time to make: ~15 minutes
Yields: 2-4 servings
- Chop 2 tomatoes and sprinkle with salt.
- Cube 3 cups of day-old Italian or peasant-style bread.
- Combine the tomatoes and bread, and let the juices soak the bread.
- Thinly slice ¼ red onion and scatter into the salad.
- Combine 3 tbsp. olive oil and 1½ tbsp. red wine vinegar, and toss into the salad.
- Sprinkle with 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil and oregano.
Note: If the bread is not stale enough, brown the cubes in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes or so. It needs to have enough crunch to absorb the tomato juices without becoming too soggy.