Summer Salad

The simplicity of this salad of bread and tomato makes it a perfect starter or a quick meal including for those following a Dairy Free or a Vegan diet.



I have called this simply a summer salad because I suspect, like myself, many may not be attracted to the idea of stale bread! But, trust me, it works and is an unexpected treat for those unfamiliar with this combo. Indeed, I consider it one of the culinary delights of summer.

It is a well-known dish in Italy – ie Panzanella, which uses ciabatta – and in Lebanon – ie Fattoush, which uses toasted or fried pitta bread. But I recommend you create your own version utilising any bread available and seasonal vegetables plus spices, including chilli, for variety.

The quantities below are a guide only; adjust to your taste. You can make this salad a meal with the addition of cheese or beans; or you can serve it with grilled meat or fish.

Diets for which Summer Salad is suitable:

Diabetic, Dairy Free, Fodmap, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Nut Free, Vegetarian and Vegan Diets.

Ingredients

Preparation: 15 +15 mins | Cooking: 4 mins | Serves: 4

200 gm (7 oz) GF bread*
500 gm (1 lb) ripe tomatoes
4 green spring onion tops**
1 cucumber
1 bunch basil
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Optional Extras***
olives, garlic, green chilli (finely sliced), parmesan cheese, capers, anchovies, red pepper (try roasted), beans (eg lima beans).

Method

CUT the bread into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cubes or tear into small pieces.
MARINATE with half the oil and vinegar for 15 – 30 minutes.
SLICE the onion tops.
CUT large tomatoes into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cubes; or tiny tomatoes in half. (If the tomatoes have tough skins place them in boiling water for 30 – 60 seconds, refresh in cold water and remove their skins before cubing.)
CUT the cucumber into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cubes.
CUT or tear the basil into smaller pieces.
ADD these ingredients, the remaining oil and vinegar and any other ingredients you have selected to the bread and toss.

Serve

– A starter, salad or light meal.

Notes

* Select any bread for those not on a Gluten Free or Fodmap diet.
** Replace with red onion (not Fodmap diet).
*** Select as appropriate for the diet.

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