Italian Tomato & Bread Salad
½ baguette (about 12 inches long)
1 large garlic clove, mashed
Olive oil for brushing
6 medium to large tomatoes, cut into large chunks
½ medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Split the baguette in half lengthwise. Rub the cut side of one half very well with the mashed garlic. Brush liberally with olive oil. Cut the garlicked half in half again lengthwise, and then cut those strips into 3/4 “ pieces. Place the croutons on a baking sheet, crust side down. Bake 30 minutes, until dark golden.
If croutons are made in advance, put the tomatoes in a large mixing bowl a bit before you intend to mix the salad, then drain off and discard any juice that may accumulate.
To serve, add the croutons, onion, and basil to the tomatoes. Whisk together the vinegar and oil for the vinaigrette. Pour over all and toss.