A riff on a panzanella, this pretty salad is a nice accompaniment to a warm bowl of pasta. Store tomatoes at room temperature, not in the refrigerator, since cold temperatures turn tomatoes mushy and mealy. If it isn’t tomato season, choose cherry tomatoes (about 1 1/4 lb./625 g, halved), which tend to be flavorful all year round and make a great substitution in this salad.
Roasted Red Pepper, Tomato & Sourdough Crouton Salad
6 small sweet, red tomatoes such as Roma or Campari (about 1 1/4 lb./625 g total weight)
2 red bell peppers
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
4 Tbs. (2 fl. oz./60 ml) olive oil
3 thick slices (about 1 inch/2.5 cm) sourdough bread, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 shallot, chopped
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
Cut the tomatoes into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces and put in a large nonreactive bowl.
Using tongs or a large fork, hold 1 pepper at a time directly over the flame of a gas burner, or place directly on the grate. Roast, turning as needed, until blistered and charred black on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes total. (Alternatively, place the peppers under a preheated broiler, as close as possible to the heating element, and roast to char them on all sides, turning as needed.) Transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, and set aside to steam until cooled, about 20 minutes. Once cool, peel or rub away the charred skins, then seed and chop the peppers. Add to the bowl with the
In a nonstick frying pan over high heat, melt the butter in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the cubed sourdough and season well with salt and pepper. Toast the bread, stirring only occasionally so that each side has time to brown, until nice and golden on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Add the croutons to the bowl with the tomatoes and peppers.
In a small bowl, stir together the shallot and vinegar. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the tomatoes, peppers, and croutons and toss to coat well. Stir in the basil, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve right away. Serves 4 to 6.
For this and more ideas for pasta dishes you’ll want to serve every night of the week, check out our new Pasta Night, by Kate McMillan