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9 Times Bread and Summer Tomatoes were BFFs

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When it comes to perfect food pairings, bread and tomatoes are the stuff of legend, especially when we’re talking juicy, sweet, ripe peak-of-summer tomatoes and crisp-crusted toasted (or stale) bread. Traditional Mediterranean cuisines have combined these two ingredients in myriad ways, from a classic gazpacho, thickened with bread, to a panzanella salad. It’s the perfect solution for summer supper, when you want to go easy on the cooking–or even skip it entirely.

  • Recipe

    Tomato Bread with Iberico

    It is amazing how much flavor can be imparted by rubbing a slice of toast with a garlic clove and fresh tomato. This simple, classic Spanish snack is topped with the country's famous cured ham.

  • Recipe

    Grilled Open-Face BLT

    A BLT is one of the best ways to enjoy in-season tomatoes; salty, smoky bacon and tangy mayonnaise highlight their sweetness. This version ups the smoke factor with grilled tomato, lettuce, and bread.

  • Recipe

    Chilled Tomato, Basil, and Bread Soup

    Bread helps thicken this lovely summer soup, and blanching the basil before puréeing helps its color stay fresh-looking.

  • Recipe

    Fattoush-Style Bread Salad

    Crumbled feta, red onion, fresh mint, olives, and pita give this bread salad a Mediterranean feel.
  • Recipe

    Grilled Tomatoes with Burrata and Breadcrumbs

    A toasted bread-and-parsley salad adds crunch and bright, fresh flavor to this riff on Caprese salad.
  • Recipe

    Andalusian Gazpacho

    I like straining this soup so it’s absolutely smooth; if you’d rather not strain it, purée it more coarsely so the soup is chunky and tiny fibers aren’t an issue. This recipe was adapted from Carmen Perujo, a home cook from Seville, who says that gazpacho used to be served as the penultimate course of the midday meal, “just before the fruit, which was always our dessert.” Nowadays, it’s often served as an appetizer.

  • Recipe

    Grilled Sourdough Panzanella

    If you’ve never had a bread salad, you’re missing out on a great way to both use up leftover bread and showcase summer tomatoes. Bread salads are common in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, where cooks use stale bread as the primary ingredient. In this Italian version, called panzanella, we char the bread on the grill for added flavor. If you don’t feel like grilling the bread, you can toast it in a grill pan or under a low broiler.

  • Recipe

    Bruschetta with Herbed Tomatoes

    For these bruschetta, the quality of the tomatoes makes all the difference. Use good ripe ones from your garden or pick up some at the local farmers' market.

  • Recipe

    Scandinavian-Inspired Bread Salad

    Pumpernickel bread, caraway and fennel take this bread salad outside of the usual Mediterranean territory but it is still delicious.
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