Summer’s Bounty (otherwise entitled- Too Many Tomatoes!)

I’m going to pretend that I have made all the necessary excuses for my long blogging absence, and just dive right back in here. Or at least put my toe in. Life’s a little unpredictable these days.
It’s been forever since I have posted a recipe, which I blame mostly on the fact that I haven’t been cooking much lately. People have been bringing us meals, and we’ve been eating a lot of sandwiches, but I could no longer ignore the produce that seems to be bursting out of my garden this year, so it’s back to the kitchen I go.
Gardening is a funny thing. Last year I spent hours upon hours nurturing my garden, only to have it all rot in the excess rain. This year, too pregnant to care much, I haphazardly threw some tomato, pepper, corn and squash starts into the ground, and I am getting a bumper crop- especially tomatoes. Go figure.
So what to do?
One of my favorite ways to eat fresh tomatoes is in a caprese salad- you know, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil with a splash of balsamic vinegar? Well, this super easy recipe just takes that idea one step further. It’s a bread salad, and makes for a very light, satisfying dinner. It’s also a great way to use up any leftover crusty bread you may have lying around. Here’s what you need.

20140707-181756.jpg
And for the dressing

20140707-181819.jpg
The only cooking involved here is making the croutons. But I warn you, once you start making homemade croutons, it’s hard to go back to the store bought ones in a box. I happened to have this chunk of wonderful sourdough staling on my countertop, but most french style breads will work. Just cut it up into rough cubes. I like mine on the big side.

20140707-182112.jpg
Then throw them in a pan and liberally drizzle olive oil over them.

20140707-182148.jpg
Also a generous sprinkling of salt.

20140707-182225.jpg
Turn the stove on to medium high, and shake the pan occasionally to toast them evenly. Let them get nicely golden brown and crispy on the outside, but still a little soft on the inside. Remove them from the heat.

20140707-182751.jpg
Now just dice up the tomatoes and the fresh mozzarella.

20140707-182935.jpg
Then slice up a few basil leaves, which I do by stacking them, rolling them up tightly and slicing thinly. This is called a chiffonade, I think.

20140707-183151.jpg

20140707-183158.jpg

20140707-183343.jpg
Put the bread in the bowl, followed by the cheese, basil and tomatoes. Or the other way around. It doesn’t matter.

20140707-183628.jpg

20140707-183640.jpg
A good dousing of olive oil is called for here, and a tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar.

20140707-183800.jpg
Toss it with a little salt and pepper and garnish it with a sprig more of basil if you have it.

20140707-183928.jpg
And that’s it. A great way to make a dent in your pile of tomatoes, if you have one. We have also served this with leftover sliced chicken or beef for a heartier meal. Quite delish. But serve it quickly or the croutons will be soggy. Enjoy!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s