Recipe for Cherry Tomato Bread Salad with Basil & Fresh Mozzarella
This Cherry Tomato Bread Salad with Basil & Fresh Mozzarella recipe is perfect for the heat wave we are having. The bread and the cheese make a more substantial salad and when combined with your favorite cold cuts it makes a lovely summer meal. The source of this recipe is from my favorite cooking magazine Fine Cooking .
INGREDIENTS for Cherry Tomato Bread Salad with Basil and Fresh Mozzarella
- 6 slices, Â½ inch thick, Ciabatta or other squat, chewy Italian Bread
2 tablespoons plus â…“ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
30 Basil Leaves
1 small strip Lemon Zest, about 2 inches long, white pith removed
4 cups small Cherry Tomatoes (or other bite-size tomatoes, such as pear or grape)
in assorted colors, halved
1 pound small fresh Mozzarella Balls (about 1 inch in diameter)
1/4 teaspoon crushed Red Chile Flakes
freshly ground Black Pepper
METHOD for Cherry Tomato Bread Salad with Basil and Fresh Mozzarella
Heat the oven to 400ËšF. Tear the bread into 1-inch pieces, pile them on a rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Sprinkle with salt, toss, spread in a single layer, and bake, turning occasionally, until the bread cubes are golden and crunchy, 8 to 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the basil leaves and lemon zest and blanch for 5 seconds. Drain. Transfer the basil and zest to a blender and pulse a few times to chop the leaves. With the blender running, slowly add the remaining â…“ cup oil through the lid’s fill hole and process for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the blender and continue to purÃ©e until smooth, 30 to 60 seconds.
In a large bowl, toss together the cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and bread cubes. Let sit, tossing occasionally, for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the chile flakes; season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle some of the basil oil over the salad. Serve immediately, passing the remaining basil oil at the table.
More Fine Cooking
 I am putting Fine Cooking’s 2014 Magazine Archive DVD-ROM  on my wish list. This DVD has 20 years of recipes on a disc you can pop into your computer. It covers all the recipes from the very first magazine including the 2014 issues.