For this bread salad, it’s best to use a mild-flavored bread rather than a sourdough loaf.

For the vinaigrette:

1/2 cup sherry vinegar

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 tsp whole grain mustard

11/2 cups olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste?

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, shallots and mustard, then whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. ?Set aside.

For the salad:

1 loaf country bread, sliced 1-inch thick, crusts removed

Extra virgin olive oil to taste

3-4 large, ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 bunch arugula, washed and torn into large pieces

1/2 bunch basil leaves, washed, destemmed and torn into small pieces

1. Lightly brush the bread with olive oil. Grill bread slices over a hot grill until they are golden and toasted.

2. Let cool slightly, then cut the grilled bread into bite-size pieces.

3. Just before serving, combine the pieces of grilled bread, the cut tomatoes, the arugula and the basil in a large serving bowl.

4. Toss with enough vinaigrette to barely coat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

This article appeared in the July 2006 issue of Portland Monthly.
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