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Cherry Tomato Bread Salad with Basil & Fresh Mozzarella

Scott Phillips

Servings: six.


  • 6 slices, 1/2 inch thick, ciabatta or other squat, chewy bread
  • 2 Tbs. plus 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 30 basil leaves
  • 1 small strip lemon zest, about 2 inches long, white pith removed
  • 4 cups small cherry tomatoes (or other bite-size tomatoes, such as pear or grape) in assorted colors, halved
  • 1 lb. small fresh mozzarella balls (about 1 inch in diameter)
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 410
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 250
  • Fat (g): 28
  • Saturated Fat (g): 9
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 15
  • Cholesterol (mg): 25
  • Sodium (mg): 520
  • Carbohydrates (g): 21
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 20


  • Heat the oven to 400°F. Tear the bread into 1-inch pieces, pile them on a rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle with 2 Tbs. of the oil. Sprinkle with salt, toss, spread in a single layer, and bake, turning occasionally, until the bread cubes are golden and crunchy, 8 to 12 min. Set aside to cool.
  • Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the basil leaves and lemon zest and blanch for 5 seconds. Drain. Transfer the basil and zest to a blender and pulse a few times to chop the leaves. With the blender running, slowly add the remaining 1/3 cup oil through the lid’s fill hole and process for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the blender and continue to purée until smooth, 30 to 60 seconds.
  • In a large bowl, toss together the cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and bread cubes. Let sit, tossing occasionally, for 20 min. Sprinkle with the chile flakes; season with salt and pepper to taste.


Rate or Review


  • Nenya | 07/27/2010

    This is a great bread salad. I use the ciabata bread from Costco. It is super good!

  • Lilia37 | 07/06/2009

    Very yummy. I've made it at least 5 times since first trying it about 6 weeks ago. Could use perhaps a little less bread. I've only had left-overs once. It was still edible the next day, but of course, the croutons had lost all their crunch.

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