Friday, July 16, 2010
As the summer is in full swing, we've been enjoying more and more light meals using fresh produce, olive oil and a lot of lemon. This salad is a great Italian classic, featuring a whole lot of veggies and some crusty bread. These crusty cubes of bread are tossed with tomatoes, cucumbers and red onions and then drizzled with a citrusy vinaigrette. The bread soaks up all the flavors of the salad and makes for a hearty dish that can be used as a main meal.
When I made my way to the farmer's market a few days ago, I was looking for those beautiful heirloom tomatoes that are so succulent during the summer months. The more uneven the shape, unstructured the edges and different variations in color make for the best tomatoes, in my book. Supermarkets make us think that fruit and vegetables should be shiny, symmetrical and perfectly round but that is definitely not the way nature intended it. Getting my hands on a batch of yellow, orange, red and crimson tomatoes always makes my heart swing. To tell you the truth, I often just end up having them thinly sliced with extra virgin olive, cracked black pepper and fleur de sel - but this salad really took these to the next level.
We have moved to Toronto for most of the summer, and found this incredible little bakery in our neighborhood. I got their signature sourdough walnut bread - which worked wonders in this salad. What meals have you been enjoying in this scorching heat?
2 large slices of sourdough bread
1/2 garlic clove
4 heirloom tomatoes, seeded and quartered
1/2 cucumber, diced
1/4 large red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup of greek olives
1/3 cup of cubed good quality feta
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Drizzle the bread slices with a little olive oil and set in a warm oven until crusty. Peel the garlic clove and cut in half. Rub the garlic on the warm bread. Cut the bread into cubes (the same size as the vegetables) and set aside.
In your serving bowl, add the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, olives and feta. Toss in the bread cubes. In a small bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper and lightly whisk. Drizzle over the salad and serve. Enjoy!