|Also known as panzanella|
Although I make this salad by feel, it does require a few things that cannot be substituted: Homegrown tomatoes (or ripe ones from a farmer who's not shipping them somewhere), high-quality extra-virgin olive oil and stale artisan bread. If your tomatoes are really juicy and your bread is sufficiently stale but not hard, you can just cut the bread in cubes and skip the soak.
Lori K's easy bread salad
1 large day-old baguette or equivalent stale artisan bread
2 large ripe tomatoes, cubed (one red, one yellow adds color)
2 tablespoons capers, drained
Sliced kalamata olives to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 basil leaves, ribboned
handful of arugula if you have it
Sea salt and peppercorns, freshly ground
Soak the bread in hot water until softened but not soggy. Squeeze out the water. Put in a big bowl. Toss in everything else, adjusting oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Chill and serve.
Vary the flavor by soaking the bread in broth, adding peperoncini slices for a kick, a little rosemary or replacing the vinegar with lemon juice.