by Chef

Serves: Serves 12Prep Time: 10 minutesCook Time: 10 minutes


For the croutons:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small loaf French or white Italian bread cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
  • Pinch kosher salt


For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup pure olive oil
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Dash freshly ground black pepper


For the salad:

  • 2 large, ripe tomatoes cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cucumber, unpeeled, split and seeded, ½-inch-thick slices
  • 2 roasted red bell peppers, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 log fresh mozzarella, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 24 medium-size basil leaves removed from stem and torn in half
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained


For the croutons: Heat oil in a large sauté pan. Add bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed. Remove from pan and set aside.

For the vinaigrette: In a small mixing bowl add garlic, mustard, and vinegar. Whisk all the ingredients together and slowly drizzle in oil until all is used.

For the salad: In a large mixing bowl combine tomatoes, cucumber, roasted peppers, mozzarella, red onion, basil, and capers. Add bread cubes and toss with vinaigrette. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or first allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.