TOMATO ANTIPASTO BREAD SALAD
Ripe, juicy tomatoes combine with Eggplant Appetizer (caponata), sweet red roasted peppers, fried green peppers, Nicoise olives, pine nuts and sliced onion. Mixed with toasted English muffin cubes, then soaked in a pine nut, garlic and rosemary vinaigrette. Wonderful!
Makes 12 cups
6 lg. ripe, juicy summer tomatoes, cut into 3/4-1 inch cubes
2-3 T. extra virgin olive oil
3 green peppers, cored, cut from end to end into 6 segments each, then crosswise into 1/4 inch wide slices
20 Nicoise olives, pitted; using tip of very sharp knife, peel around the olive pit like you’re peeling an apple
3/4 c. transparently thin slices of onion (half rings)
1/4 c. pine (pignoli) nuts; place on plate and mash with potato masher till pulpy
7.5 oz. can Eggplant appetizer (caponata)
8 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch wide slices
1 c. sweet red roasted peppers (diced or sliced)
Dressing: Makes 2-1/2 cups; use one half (1-1/4 c). for this recipe
1-1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 c. red wine vinegar
1-1/2 t. coarse salt
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. dried rosemary needles
lots of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c. pine nuts
1/4 c. light brown sugar
6 English muffins, toasted till fairly dark, then cut into 3/4-1 inch cubes
2 t. dried basil
more freshly ground black pepper
In large skillet, over medium heat, melt olive oil.
Add green peppers and salt, then saute till wilted and scorched. You want the peppers to maintain most of their shape (pliable, not mush)
Place sauteed peppers in extra large bowl.
Add olives, onion, pine nut pulp, Eggplant Appetizer, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted peppers. Toss to distribute evenly.
Place all dressing ingredients into blender container and blend till smooth.
Add English muffin squares to antipasto bowl. Sprinkle with basil and black pepper.
Pour one half of the dressing over all. Toss to coat, then pat down evenly. Let set till ready to serve.
You can serve the salad right away or in several hours.
Notes: English muffins make a perfect bread salad because of the nooks and crannies in the bread that soak up the dressing.
Be sure your tomatoes are ripe and juicy for best results.
I just happened to use coarse salt; use whatever type you have on hand.