Tuscan Panzanella, or Bread Salad

Ingredients

4 (1-ounce) slices Italian bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup torn fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Trim crusts from bread slices, discard crusts. Cut bread into 1-inch
cubes. Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Let
bread sit for 3-4 hours so that it can dry out and not be too soggy when mixed with the salad. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat bread lightly with olive oil. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until toasted.

Combine basil and next 4 ingredients (basil through beans) in a large
bowl. Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir
with a whisk. Pour over tomato mixture; toss to coat. Add bread, toss
well. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 cups)

This classic bread salad, full of juicy tomatoes, is summer on a plate.
It’s best when the toasted bread is still crisp, so serve immediately
after tossing.

Special thanks to Ben and Mena Trott for this recipe