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1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed into paste
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup light virgin olive oil
6 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 large loaf stale bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 ounces Cabot Sharp Cheddar, crumbled or finely diced (about 1 cup)
3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, shredded
1. In large bowl, whisk together onion, garlic, lemon zest and vinegar; whisking constantly, slowly add olive oil in thin stream until emulsified.
2. Add tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and olives, tossing to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add bread cubes, cheese and basil and toss again. Let salad stand for 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.