Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Salad for Dessert

Before the summer is over, I wanted to post my favorite tomato recipe of this season....last year it was salsa, this year: gazpacho salad. Aside from our friend Ray- who, if given the choice, would seriously opt for any sort of salad for dessert- I really don't know many people that honestly do ravenously crave salad. I eat a lot more of it than most people probably, but sometimes it is primarily because I know it is good for me. Know what I mean? This salad, however, is amazing. I seriously have dreams about this salad. It takes what seems like forever to chop everything up, but it is totally worth it. Can't wait 'til next summer, and our inevitably out-of-control tomato plants, so I can make some more. I'll maybe even join Ray and have it for dessert!
(This photo- and the recipe- from Smitten Kitchen)

Gazpacho Salad
The New Spanish Table

Serves 4

2 1/2 cups cubed day-old dense country bread (1-inch cubes)
2 medium-size garlic cloves, chopped
1 large pinch of coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1 small pinch of cumin seeds
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar, preferably aged, or best-quality red wine vinegar, or more to taste
1/3 cup fragrant extra-virgin olive oil
1 2/3 pounds very ripe but firm tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 small Kirby (pickling) cucumbers, cored, seeded and diced
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
1/2 cup seedless green grapes, cut in half
About 1/2 cup slivered fresh mint or basil (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Arrange the bread cubes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until they are just beginning to turn golden, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once. Lead the bread cubes cool.

3. Place the garlic, salt, and cumin in a mortar and, using a pestle, mash them into a paste. Add the vinegar and olive oil and whisk to mix.

4. Place the toasted bread and the tomatoes, cucumbers, Italian pepper, onion, grapes, and mint, if using, in a large bowl and toss to mix. Add the dressing to the salad and toss to combine well. Let the salad stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving to allow the bread to soak up the dressing.


Lis Richards said...

Betsy, I was just telling Ben how I love your salads! I just ate the left over from Saturday and I didn't share with him... so good!I will use your recipe.

Dana said...

This looks like a delicious salad recipe I'll have to try. Thanks for sharing!