This Italian bread salad is the second-best way to eat ripe summer tomatoes
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced thin
1 shallot, sliced thin
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 F. Toss bread pieces with 2 tablespoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt; arrange bread in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Toast bread pieces until just starting to turn light golden, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
2. Gently toss tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt in large bowl. Transfer to colander and set over bowl; set aside to drain for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally.
3. Whisk remaining 6 tablespoons oil, the vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon pepper into reserved tomato juices. Add bread pieces, toss to coat and let stand for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.
4. Add tomatoes, cucumber, shallot and basil to bowl with bread pieces and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste; serve immediately.
Recipe note: The success of this recipe depends on ripe, in-season tomatoes and a fruity, high-quality olive oil.
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