Serves 4 as an appetizer (or one very hungry recipe tester at lunch time)
This Italian bread salad is a good way to use up day (or even two-day) old bread. Make sure to ask your local farmer about their practices and method to deal with late blight. Personally, it's worth it to spend a little more to ensure chemical-free tomatoes (I found some for only $2.50 a pound at Alex Farms, a vendor at the Carroll Gardens' Greenmarket). And if the price is too steep, then skip them and bookmark this recipe for next year.
4 1/2-inch thick slices of stale ciabatta or other stale crusty bread
3 medium-large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
3 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
handful of fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Cut bread into cubes and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until toasted and golden, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, add tomatoes and mozzarella to a medium bowl. Pour in oil and vinegar and toss to coat well. Season with salt and pepper. Tear basil leaves (or slice into a chiffonade if you want to show off your knife skills) and toss with tomato mixture. Let sit 10 minutes to release juices and let flavors marinate.
Add bread cubes to the tomato salad. Toss well and let stand to soak up juices, just a minute or two tops. Evenly divide onto four plates and serve immediately.