This is a big, hearty and tangy salad, with hunks of toasted bread, grilled vegetables and marinated anchovies.
Slideshow:Great Bread Salads
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
5 garlic cloves
6 ounces rustic Italian bread, torn into 1 1/2-inch pieces
Freshly ground pepper
1 large head of radicchio— quartered through the core
2 teaspoons honey, plus more for drizzling
1/4 cup white verjus (see Note)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced preserved lemon rind (optional; see Note) or 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 plum tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch dice
2 roasted red bell peppers, cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 English cucumber—halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced crosswise, plus 1/2 cup celery leaves
3 ounces white anchovy fillets (alici or boquerones), cut into 3/4-inch pieces (see Note)
1 cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a blender, blend the 1/2 cup of olive oil with the garlic until smooth. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the bread with the garlic oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the bread in a single layer and bake for about 15 minutes, stirring once, until golden and barely crisp. Let cool completely.
Meanwhile, light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the cut sides of the radicchio with olive oil and drizzle with a little honey. Grill the radicchio cut side down over high heat, turning once, until charred and just starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Let cool completely, then cut into 1-inch pieces; discard the cores.
In a large bowl, whisk the 2 teaspoons of honey with the verjus, soy sauce, jalapeño, ginger and preserved lemon, if using. Add the tomatoes, roasted red peppers, cucumber, scallions, sliced celery and celery leaves and toss well. Stir in the croutons, grilled radicchio, anchovies and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Serve right away.
Verjus is the juice of unripened grapes. It’s often used as a substitute for vinegar. Preserved lemon is a condiment used primarily in Indian and North African cooking. Both are available at specialty food shops. White anchovy fillets are available in the deli section of specialty food shops.
Assertive flavors, like fishy anchovies and bitter radicchio, can be toned down with juicy, fruity wines. Try a robust rosé, like one from Australia or Spain’s Rioja region.
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