Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tuscan bread salad

We have a deli near our house that we used to frequently weekly and I almost always ordered the same thing: the Tuscan bread salad. It was delicious and I craved it often. And then something horrible happened - I was mid-way through my salad and there was a bug. I will spare you the details (it still makes me sick to think about it and the restaurant's explanation for the problem), but needless to say, we have not been back.

Recently, I started thinking about the salad again. Not that exact salad, of course, but a similar salad. Fresh tomatoes, bread soaked in sweet balsamic dressing, fresh mozzarella and salty cashews. I decided I could replicate this at home.

Dressing Ingredients
2 T honey
1 t dijon mustard
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground pepper
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
3/4 olive oil
1 crushed garlic clove

I followed the instructions in this recipe using slightly less mustard, so it would be more sweet.

Salad Ingredients (2-3 large servings)
3 c mixed baby greens
1/3 french baguette, cubed
2-3 Roma tomatoes (any tomato will work)
2 t finely chopped basil
1/4 c fresh mozzarella, cubed
2 T cashews, roughly chopped

Make the salad dressing and pour into a glass jar or bottle, leaving approximately 1/4 c in the bowl. Add bread, mozzarella and basil to the bowl and mix. Be sure the mixture is coated well with the dressing. If not, add more salad dressing. Cover and refrigerator bread mixture for at least one hour. Divide greens, tomato and cashews onto two or three plates. Top with bread mixture. Serve with additional salad dressing, salt and pepper.

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