Chunky, toasted croutons are a key element of this lovely Tuscan summer salad. Make the croutons from leftover baguette. This salad is meant to be rustic, so don’t worry about cutting ingredients uniformly.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 baguette, cut into large cubes
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 English cucumber, cut into large dice
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into large dice
- 1/2 orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into large dice
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1 large tomato, seeded and cut into large dice
- Fresh basil, about 15 leaves, torn in pieces by hand
- 3 tablespoons capers
- 1 cup crumbled fresh feta cheese
- Heat a sauté pan with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add cubed bread and toast about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Once the bread is golden on all sides, transfer to a sheet pan or large plate to cool.
- To make dressing in medium bowl combine garlic, mustard, vinegar, a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper and whisk to incorporate all the ingredients. Then slowly add the remaining ¼ cup olive oil in a steady stream while whisking; this will emulsify the dressing.
- In a large salad bowl, add all the vegetables, basil, capers, feta cheese, and the toasted bread. Drizzle the dressing on top and toss to mix well. The salad can be served immediately or let it sit for up to 20 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.