Well, it’s finally happened- my little beauties are ripe and ready to be gobbled obsessively. I happen to have little cherry tomatoes that are ripe at a golden-orange color, sweet but still complex; but the those big, bad boys are still my favorite. Slicing them up simply with salt and olive oil is still the best way to consume them, I think; but I’m always looking for a new twist on an old favorite. I came across this recipe idea last week that rocked my world: not only did it utilize everything I had in my garden and pantry at the moment, but it was a wonderful way to enjoy the flavors of the luscious juices that tomatoes give up-without wasting a drop. Introducing…bread salad!
Tomato Bread Salad
For the dressing:
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
1 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. Thai Fish sauce or 6 anchovies, mashed into a paste
9 cups day-old (a good, crusty) bread, torn into large pieces
2 large ripe tomatoes, large dice
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions (or a sweet onion, such as a Vidalia)
2 medium cucumbers, halved lengthwise and cut into large dice
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into large pieces
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Prepare the dressing by whisking together the lemon juice, zest, garlic, and fish sauce (or paste) until blended. Continue to whisk while drizzling in the olive oil. Combine tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, herbs, and feta, and toss with the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the bread and toss to coat well. Let sit for 20 minutes before serving.