Bread salad may or may not be an oxymoron. (Basic Bread Salad)

This is my first bread salad. I was highly skeptical the first time I heard of bread salad. I mean, seriously, what is bread doing in the realm of lettuce? Away, foul carbs and wheat! (And while we’re at it, what is up with bread soup?) Then I started to read more recipes and they always mentioned savory, chewy, crispy bread and I started to think to myself, “This sounds like all the best parts of stuffing.” Yes, I am the person that craves stuffing IN THE MIDDLE OF A HEAT WAVE.

From HKWF

Yesterday, I was dumb enough to turn on the oven for 2 hours during the heatwave (and did I mention our AC is broken?). Today I was unwilling to even light up a burner. Uh uh, no way. I was still pretty skeptical of this salad, but we have a giant bag of croutons in the pantry from Costco and this seemed as good a way as any to use it up. And you know what? I ate three bowls for dinner and another while writing this post. It must be good.Notes: This is a pretty flexible palette upon which to draw. You can use whatever fresh veggies you have on hand or whatever is on sale at your market. Feel free to use your favorite vinaigrette, homemade or storebought.

Basic Bread Salad
 

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

Allow 20 minutes. Serves 6.

Salad
6 cups croutons (See directions for homemade from Smitten Kitchen here.)
4 large tomatoes
1 bell pepper
1 cucumber
4 green onions

Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon smoked mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/3 cup olive oil


1) Whisk all ingredients for vinaigrette in bottom of serving bowl.
2) Chop all vegetables to bite size pieces. (Seed the tomatoes, first.*) Add to bowl.
3) Add croutons, toss with vegetables and vinaigrette.
4) Serve immediately or allow to stand for 30-60 minutes.

*To do this, cut the top off the tomato, then scoop out the seeds with your fingers. It’s supposed to be messy.

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