Housemade

Bread Salads with Grilled Sweet Peppers

When the weather gets warm, I just love cooking on the grill. There’s nothing that says “summer” more than grill marks: on vegetables, on burgers, on bread. This list goes on and on. Grilling is a great way to cook when it’s too hot to turn on the oven, and these salads are a great way to use up stale bread.

For these bread salads, I combine crusty toasted bread cubes, grilled peppers, fresh plum tomatoes, olives, chopped fresh cilantro, and a citrus vinaigrette. I opted to use oil-cured olives because they have such a depth of flavor, but you could easily swap them out for briney green olives.

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You can grill the bread, then cut it into cubes, or you can use the oven. If you want to use the oven, though, I suggest making the bread cubes the night before, after the sun goes down and the house is cooler. Just toss them with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake at 375 until crisp with toasty brown edges. Store at room temp until you’re ready to make the salads.

This isn’t a recipe so much as a method. Once you get the basics down, you can adjust this to suit just about any tastes. You could take out the olives and tomatoes (like I did for my husband), you could add grilled onions, or a handful of crumbled feta. You could even toss in a handful of peppery arugula. If you’re not a fan of cilantro, try flat Italian parsley or fresh basil instead.

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Any way you mix these up, they make for delicious, light summer meals.

What would you put in your bread salads?

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