A popular Italian summer salad that’s a perfect solution to your leftover wheat bread. And for some protein, just add some bits of chicken or tuna and a dash of balsamic vinegar. Et voila, you have a delectable but perfectly healthy summer salad.
1 loaf of bread, toasted and cut into cubes or flat square pieces
4 ounces of fresh or canned tuna
1 small bowl of cherry tomatoes
1/2 large cucumber
1 medium red or yellow bell pepper
1/2 medium red onion
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine or balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup thinly sliced basil
- Slice the bread into 1-inch cubes: Slice or tear the bread into roughly 1-inch cubes. I usually leave the crusts on, but you can remove them if you prefer. You should have about 10 overflowing cups of bread.
- Dry the bread: Spread the bread cubes over a baking sheet. Leave uncovered overnight to stale and harden. Alternatively, bake in a 300°F oven until hardened on the outside but still slightly soft in the middle, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once or twice during baking.
- Chop the vegetables: Chop the tomatoes, cucumber, and bell pepper into bite-sized pieces. Slice the onion into thin slices and soak in a bowl of cold water for 10 to 15 minutes while assembling the rest of the salad.
- Make the vinaigrette: Combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and a few grinds of fresh pepper in a jam jar. Shake vigorously. Alternatively, combine ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
- Combine the salad in a bowl: Combine the bread, tuna, and chopped vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over top and use a spatula to thoroughly combine.Let the salad sit for 1/2 hour to 4 hours: Let the salad sit at least half an hour before serving, or up to 4 hours. Stir occasionally so the juices and vinaigrette are evenly distributed.
- Add basil and serve: Just before serving, stir in the basil.
It is best that you consume this salad the day it was prepared. Enjoy!