Tomato, Bread and Fresh Herb Salad

Tomato, Bread and Fresh Herb Salad

1 medium loaf of firm country bread
4 medium firm ripe red tomatoes – at room temperature, cut into wedges
1 medium red onion – thinly sliced
1 red yellow or green bell pepper – cored, seeded, cut into thin strips
3 cucumbers – peeled, halved, seeded, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
10 basil leaves – coarsely chopped
4 mint leaves – coarsely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Spanish sherry vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Prepare 2 cups of 1/2 inch bread cubes by cutting bread into 1/2 inch thick slices, trimming crusts, toasting under the broiler and cutting into 1/2 inch cubes. Reserve in a large bowl.

Purée one of the tomatoes in a blender, pour over the bread cubes and toss. Let steep for about 10 minutes and set aside.

Combine remaining tomatoes, onion, pepper, cucumbers, basil, mint, olive oil, and vinegar together in a large bowl. Toss well. Add prepared bread cubes and salt and pepper to taste. If mixture seems dry, sprinkle more olive oil over all, toss again and serve at room temperature.