The first time I made this salad, I halved the ingredients but otherwise followed Stewart's recipe exactly. The salad was surprisingly fabulous for something so simple -- all those beautiful garden tomato juices mingling with the oil and vinegar, soaking into the crunchy bread. Double yum with knobs on!
Then I started thinking about all the fresh herbs rioting in my garden and wondered if I could incorporate those into the salad. I started messing around with Stewart's recipe and ended up with what you see below -- a kind of faux Greek panzanella. It's fantastically good, combining all my favorite summer flavors in one bowl. I keep debating throwing a little goat cheese in, but I can't decide if that would increase the level of awesome or just gild the lily.
Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Bread Salad
Adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart
2 ounces day old baguette, chopped or torn into bite-size pieces
1 teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil [Lucero Arbequina]
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar [Katz Late Harvest Zinfandel AgroDolce Vinegar]
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
8 kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1 medium tomato, cored and cut into ½-inch wedges
1 roasted red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch strips
Sea salt and ground pepper
Preheat oven to 450°F degrees.
Toss bread with 1 teaspoon oil and spread across a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown, about 7 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together remaining oil, vinegar, and garlic. Add tomato, roasted pepper, thyme, oregano, olives, and toasted bread. Toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Makes 1 large serving.