Salad/Salad Dressing, sides

Italian Bread Salad

Italian Bread Salad
I love my kitchen garden. There’s really nothing better than stepping three feet out my door to find fresh veggies, herbs and fruit! But let’s be honest…some plants have been epic failures. Cilantro and corn don’t like me, and runner beans are iffy. But really, my ultimate goal each summer is to be inundated by fresh tomatoes and basil. If anything else grows, I count it as an added bonus.

Italian Bread Salad
This Italian Bread Salad recipe IS summer! Fresh tomatoes, basil, cheese and bread, with a splash of balsamic dressing…could it get more perfect than that? It holds its own as a light lunch, or becomes the ultimate side to any piece of grilled meat. If you don’t have a garden of your own, run right now to your favorite farmer’s market or fruit stand, grab a bunch of basil and some tomatoes, and you can be eating SUMMER tonight for dinner!

Italian Bread Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4-6


  • 1 loaf Italian or French bread
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 2 cups fresh Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 large tomatoes or 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • Dressing
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • Kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut bread into one-inch cubes to make about three cups, and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Toast on cookie sheet in oven until golden brown.
  3. Cut cheese and tomatoes into cubes.
  4. Roughly chop basil leaves.
  5. For dressing, add all ingredients together and blend well.
  6. Put bread cubes in bottom of large bowl and add dressing to coat. Add cheese, tomatoes and basil, and toss. Add more dressing as needed and serve.


*To simplify, substitute ready-made croutons for the toasted bread cubes. The croutons may need to soften for about five minutes in the dressing before adding other ingredients.

*We cook only with Kosher salt as we love the way it handles and tastes. If you use table salt, adjust the amount to taste. Generally, you will need to reduce the amount of table salt as it is more dense than the much coarser Kosher salt.

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