Grilled Bread Salad with Tomatoes and Peaches
FnB, Scottsdale, AZ
Charleen Badman puts this salad on her lunch menu whenever the collection of leftover bread in her prep room grows too large for just making bread crumbs. The dish is a study in contrasts, pairing juicy and supple raw peaches and tomatoes with crunchy grilled (or toasted) chunks of bread, then dousing it all in a mustardy, garlicky vinaigrette.
- 2 cloves garlic, grated on a Microplane
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, toasted and ground
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 thick slices day-old, dry, rustic sourdough bread
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 juicy heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 heads little gem lettuce, washed and torn into bite-size pieces
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 ripe peaches, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 Persian cucumbers, cut into 1-inch half-moon pieces
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- 1 handful basil, torn
- 1 handful mint, torn
- 1 handful parsley, torn
- Salt to taste
Make the vinaigrette: in a large bowl, add the garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, fennel seeds, and chile flakes. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Make the salad: in a toaster oven, toast the bread for about 1 minute on each side (the goal is not really to get any color but to wake the bread up a bit). While still warm, rub each slice of bread on one side with the garlic clove.
Tear the bread into pieces about the size of a quarter and add to a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, lettuces, green onions, peaches, cucumbers, and pine nuts and mix together. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, toss, and set aside for 15 minutes to ensure that the bread soaks up maximum vinaigrette. Toss the basil, mint, and parsley on top and season with additional salt to taste.