How to make French bread and tomato salad.
In the land of baguettes, where a bakery is on every corner, and bread is baked in a wood oven once and sometimes twice a day, where buying a baguette daily is as natural as breathing, having a day old baguette around is common.
Hence French Toast, or as they say in France, "Pain Perdu," a direct translation is "Lost Bread," was created as a dessert, not for breakfast. One day I'll you my nephew George's recipe, but today it is a salad recipe I would like to share.
We live in a small town, where the only fast food is the bakery and take out pizza. To say I cook often is an understatement. Sure there are a few restaurants in town... but I am, I don't like to say it, but a food snob. I don't appreciate going out to a restaurant unless they can cook better than what I can do. Don't get me wrong, cooking better than me isn't hard to do, what I mean is if I am going to go to a restaurant I expect it to be good... which isn't hard to do in France... but in our town that isn't the case.
With that said when a baguette is sitting on my kitchen counter feeling sorry for itself because it can be used as a hammer, instead of smeared with cheese, tomato salad comes to the rescue.
Chop half of a bowl full of garden fresh tomatoes.
Fill the other half with dried hard baguette, in bite size pieces.
Add a few crushed garlic,
Two handfuls of fresh basil,
Two fresh balls of buffalo Mozzarella chopped,
Olive oil (about half a cup or more),
salt to taste,
and toss gently until well mix.
Cover and set aside.
This salad is at its best if it sets for about an hour, tossing it every now and then helps saturates the bread and flavors.
It can be kept in the refrigerator over night and served later, toss before serving.
Fresh, wholesome ingredients, including a "sorry for itself" baguette is simple fare, and beats going to a restaurant on a hot summer day.
What is your favorite summer salad? And do you like to cook?