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Grilled Bread Salad With Basil and Cherry Tomatoes

Servings: 8

A trip to the grill gives the makings of a classic Italian bread salad—a good crusty loaf of bread, ripe summer tomatoes, and basil—a little smokiness and crisp texture. Because this salad can sit out at room temperature for an hour or two, it’s the perfect side for a picnic or barbecue. If you can’t find bocconcini, substitute a large fresh mozzarella cut into 1-inch pieces.

This recipe is excerpted from Big Buy Cooking.


  • 1 medium loaf (about 1/2 pound) rustic
  • white bread (like ciabatta), cut length-wise into 1-inch-thick slices
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 clove garlic, halved lengthwise
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch scallions (about 8), trimmed and thinly sliced (both white and green parts)
  • 12 large basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 8 oz . bocconcini (small fresh mozzarella balls), halved


  • Prepare a medium-high fire on a gas or charcoal grill. Clean and oil the grates to prevent sticking. Using a pastry brush, dab both sides of the bread slices with 2 Tbs. oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt. Grill the bread until it browns and gets good grill marks, about 2 minutes. Grill the other side until browned, about 2 minutes, and transfer to a large cutting board to cool. Rub the cut sides of the garlic over the bread and discard the garlic. Put the cherry tomatoes and scallions in a large serving bowl with the basil. Cut the bread into 1-inch pieces and add to the bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the remaining oil with the red-wine vinegar, pour over the bread mixture, and toss well. Let the salad sit for up to 2 hours before serving. Just before serving, fold in the bocconcini and season with salt to taste.


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Reviews (1 review)

  • ohyou812 | 06/09/2011

    Loved this salad. Kinda like eating a crouton salad :) I used a very hearty Italian loaf. Added avocado just because I like it in all my salads. Definitely try this one if you are already grilling out.

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