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Gazpacho bread salad with sherry vinaigrette

Published On: Apr 26 2012 02:25:33 PM EDT
Updated On: Sep 16 2010 05:47:40 AM EDT
Salad, lettuce

Makes 4 servings

Here's a take-off on panzanella, a classic bread salad that frugal Italian home cooks developed as a way to transform day-old bread into a robust meal. (In Italy, bread is unsalted, resulting in loaves that are fresh only the day they are baked.) You don't need to use stale bread, but it's important to use full-bodied bread that will absorb the dressing without falling apart.

For the vinaigrette

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon minced garlic

½ teaspoon paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

For the salad

2 tomatoes, cut into ½-inch dice

1 cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise, seeded, and cut into ½-inch slices

½ red bell pepper, coarsely chopped

¼ cup finely chopped red onion

¼ cup pitted kalamata olives

¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

2 cups sturdy bread in 1-inch cubes

4 hard-cooked eggs, coarsely chopped

Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl.

Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, olives, and basil in a large bowl. Add about half of the vinaigrette and toss. Add the bread cubes and the remaining vinaigrette; toss again to mix thoroughly.

Spoon the salad into bowls. Top the servings with the eggs and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette.