3/4 pound day-old crusty peasant-style bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
2 large tomatoes (about 1 pound), trimmed and each cut into 8 wedges
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup sliced red onion
3/4 cup sliced unwaxed cucumber, optional
12 fresh basil leaves, chopped in chiffonade style (See Note)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
In large skillet, saute bread chunks until just crispy and golden in some olive oil. Put in serving bowl and add tomatoes, garlic, onion, cucumber, if desired, and basil. Toss. In separate bowl, combine the oil and vinegar and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add to bread and toss until the salad is combined well. Serves 4.
Note: To make a chiffonade of basil, stack leaves on top of each other, roll into cylinder lengthwise and thinly slice across.
Per serving: 496 calories; 31 g fat (4 g saturated fat; 56 percent calories from fat); 50 g carbohydrates; 0 mg cholesterol; 468 mg sodium; 9 g protein; 6.5 g fiber.