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This is a great dish to make a couple of hours in advance in the summer, to have ready waiting for you in the fridge when you get back home. It is light yet satisfying.
Prep time: 15 mins | Total time: 1 hour | Servings: 6
- 6 large slices (around 400g, just under1lb) firm (stale, 2 to 3 days old is perfect!) Tuscan-style bread (or firm farmhouse loaf )
- 3 tablespoons wine or apple vinegar
- Half a cup good extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cucumber, peeled, de-seeded and chopped medium
- 500 g (around lb) tasty, firm tomatoes, skinned and chopped medium
- Half a small, sweet onion, very finely sliced
- Cherry tomatoes to decorate, halved (optional)
- 1 clove garlic, chopped finely or crushed (optional)
- 1 stick celery, very finely sliced (optional)
- EITHER: Soak the bread in water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar for 10-15 minutes. Squeeze out the water very, very well and crumble. Place in a large serving dish (traditional Tuscan method, giving an almost tabbouleh-like texture)
- OR: Cut the bread into small (1 cm, 1/2 inch) cubes. Place in a large serving dish (modern method that works well with all kinds of bread and gives more bite to the texture).
- Add a pinch of salt, some pepper, another splash of vinegar, the garlic (if using) and half the oil. Mix well.
- Now add the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, the chopped basil, the garlic and celery (if using) and the rest of the oil.
- Cover well and chill for at least an hour before serving for the flavours to infuse well.
- Decorate with cherry tomatoes if you like.