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Crunchy Tomato Bread Salad

When you grow your own fruits and veggies, it’s always exciting to see what will pop up when combing through your garden. My kids have become little detectives, hunting amid the leaves and vines in our pots and planters and pointing out whatever looks ready to be picked. In summer we grow a variety of tomatoes—yellow, red, heirloom, cherry and more. Coming up with different recipes to use them in is essential so nothing goes to waste. Utilizing the plentiful tomatoes, cornucopia of cucumbers and bountiful basil covering our yard, this summery salad is quite literally the fruits of our labor. The preparation is simple, and because the crusty bread cubes are filling, it goes a long way toward feeding a large family, making this super-fresh meal affordable on any budget. If you’re looking for a dish that screams “summertime,” you have to try this one. And if by now I haven’t convinced you to start your own edible garden, this salad certainly will.

Ingredients

1/2 loaf French bread or rustic artisan bread, cut into 1-inch pieces (4 cups)

1/4 cup olive oil

4 beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 cup sliced cucumbers, peeled or unpeeled

1 ear corn (uncooked), sliced off the cob

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Place the bread cubes on a sheet tray, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and toss to coat.

3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden, and set aside to cool.

4. Place the tomatoes, cucumber, corn, onion, basil, olives and bread in a large bowl.

5. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the vinegar and salt. Pour onto the salad and toss to coat.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

From Weelicious Lunches, by Catherine McCord

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