If you are like me, you love bread. I mean reeeeally love bread. And I don't mean soggy old Wonder Bread either. I am talking about homemade artisan breads like Ciabatta, Peasant Bread, Boules and French Baguettes.
A loaf of these delicious breads runs about four bucks and since there is only two of us, it is no surprise that is turns stale before we can use it up and there are only so many batches of bread crumbs a girl can make!
I hate wasting food, so I turn to the Italians, specifically the Tuscans, who wrote the book on how to make use of everything you have. You know, stretch that almighty Euro. Even stale bread.
In the winter, the best way to use up stale bread is to make a ribollita. But since I can't even think about making a hot, heavy soup in the heat of the summer, I'll turn to the best summer recipe I know.
This one is so simple, but yet I have seen many different recipes for it. I do not put cucumbers in mine, but you can if you like. I also prefer large chunks of bread and tomatoes, even though the traditional recipe states to cube the bread and tomatoes into small 1 inch pieces. But it is all about personal preference.
No exact measurements for this one, as I think it is one of those throw it all together and season to your taste recipes. Which is another reason I love it!
Soak the bread in some water for about 10 minutes-longer if the bread is really stale. Squeeze out excess water. Put into a bowl. Chop tomatoes and onion and add to the bread. Liberally drizzle with oil. Splash in a few dashes of the vinegar. Add the roughly chopped basil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss and let the flavors mingle a while before serving.