Tomato and Garlic Crouton Salad
When our garden is overflowing with tomatoes I love to make a Tomato and Crouton Salad. It uses up some of the abundance of tomatoes and basil we have growing in our yard. To me this is one of the best ways to enjoy fresh summer tomatoes. I don’t have an exact recipe for this but anyone can make this from my explanation of it.
1. Preheat the oven to 400˚. Line a cookie sheet tray with parchment paper.
2. Cut up a large baguette into 1 inch cubes and put in the largest mixing bowl you have.
3. Put 2 large cloves of garlic through a garlic press or mince the garlic finely and add to the bowl with the cut up baguette.
4. Pour a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over the bread and garlic and mix it all up with your hands.
5. Spread onto the prepared cookie sheet tray and bake flipping over the baguette cubes once during the process. I would check after the first 5 minutes. If the bottom is toasted flip them and then check them 3-5 minutes later or until toasted. Once done let cool before adding to tomatoes in the next step.
6. Dice large tomatoes, cut smaller tomatoes in 1/2 and keep cherry tomatoes whole and add them to another large bowl (or just use the same one as you used to mix the croutons in).
7. Add torn fresh basil, cooled croutons, enough olive oil to heavily coat, a tablespoon or so of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and serve right away before the croutons turn to mush.