Eating on a sailboat without refrigeration can provide its challenges but doesn’t have to mean that all you eat is hardtack. Things invariably ripen faster (read go shrivelled and mouldy) or go harder such as bread. Our last stop in Ganges on Saltspring island produced a beautiful rustic rosemary bread. The first 2 slices made a great sandwich but 2 days later, the loaf had morphed into a petanque ball. Not wanting to waste it, I rememberered once having tasted an italian bread salad. What could be better than using my stash of basil, mixed with tomatoes, leftover roasted garlic and peppers with the bread on a hot muggy and somewhat rainy day? Easier than BBQ in the rain for sure.
- 3 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 small rustic bread (I used a rosemary and garlic whole wheat loaf) cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
- 1 teaspoon granular sea salt or kosher
- 2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 english cucumber, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch thick cubes
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 red onion,and very thinly sliced
- 25 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons capers, drained
- 1 head roasted garlic
- 3 roasted peppers
- 10 – 15 Black olive
- 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
- 1 tbsp tarragon Dijon mustard ( if you only have plain Dijon it works, but you might want to add some fresh tarragon)
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper to taste (lemon pepper also picks up the flavour)
Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.
For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.
In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, garlic, feta and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. This salad can be served immediately, but I prefer to let it sit for about half an hour to allow the flavours to blend.