And so I am pretty much working tomatoes and basil into breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a break here and there for local corn, and this hearty salad is one of my favorite ways to do that. Juicy chunks of grilled steak, lightly toasted pieces of bread tossed with cucumber and a light oil and vinegar sauce along with (say it with me now) tomatoes and basil. Let’s make it!
Meantime I cut up a baguette into bite-sized pieces, tossed them with olive oil and salt and pepper and toasted them on a cookie sheet until they were just golden. I snacked on a few for, you know, quality control purposes.
After that it was just a matter of slicing up the tomatoes along with some red onion for sass and a little cucumber, and then tossing the whole thing with a quick mixture of red wine vinegar and olive oil.
I like to let the salad sit for about 15 minutes or so before I dish it out, just to let the bread absorb a little of the dressing and the steak and tomato drippings. Which is basically torture, but it’s worth it.
And there you have it – the dreamy, delicious end of summer, right there on your plate.
- 1 pound strip steak (you can sub in your favorite alternate cut of steak if you like)
- 2 cups French bread, cubed
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- 3-4 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 1 small cucumber, cut into small slices
- ½ small red onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil
- Preheat oven to 400 and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- Heat grill to high and cook steak to your liking - about 3 minutes per side for medium rare. Let the steak rest under foil while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Toss bread cubes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Place on prepared baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden.
- Slice steak into bite sized cubes and add to large bowl. Add bread cubes, tomato, cucumber and onion.
- Shake remaining oil and vinegar together in a small jar with a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour over salad and toss. Add basil and toss again.
- Let the salad sit for about 15 minutes so the flavors can combine and then serve.