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Grilled bread salad with tomatoes and cucumbers

(Styling/Tony Rosenfeld; John Tlumacki/Globe Staff)
August 5, 2009

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Serves 6

A riff on the traditional Italian bread salad, panzanella, this version is arranged on a platter rather than tossed. The vinaigrette, chunky with red onion, olives, and basil, pulls all the elements together.

1/2 baguette (about 8 ounces), cut in 1-inch pieces
1 clove garlic, halved
8 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 seedless cucumber
2 large ripe tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into wedges
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1. Prepare a medium charcoal fire or light a gas grill to medium high. Rub the bread with garlic and brush with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Sprinkle generously with salt.

2. Grill the bread for 6 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, or until it is golden on both sides.

3. Thinly slice the cucumber.

4. Arrange the tomato, cucumber slices, and bread on a platter. Sprinkle the tomato and cucumber with salt and pepper.

5. In a medium bowl, whisk the vinegar, salt, and pepper. Beat in the remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil. Stir in the onion, olives, and basil. Drizzle over the salad. Tony Rosenfeld