During the summer months, we spend a lot of time at the cottage and do a lot of entertaining. Because of the abundant supply of fresh vegetables in the summer, cooking for a crowd is sometimes easier (and less expensive) than cooking for our family of five. I love to cook, but when I am on holidays, I like to keep the time I spend in the kitchen to a minimum and the time I spend outside with my family to the max. Menus at the cottage are simple, yet delicious.
Largely because they’re my favourite dish, fresh salads are the backbone of most of our meals. The simplest, and often most delicious, are the ones that are made up of a variety of summer-inspired ingredients—tomatoes, corn, fresh herbs, peppers, beans…
Two of my current favourite salad recipes happen to come from the same cookbook, Dish Entertains by Trish Magwood. The Lemon Orzo Salad with Baby Spinach, Feta and Caramelized Onion is a big fave in our house as well as the Tomato and Bread Salad. Both are simple, can be made ahead of time and are huge crowd pleasers.
Tomato and Bread Salad
Courtesy of Trish Magwood’s Dish Entertains
Serves 6 to 8
- ½ baquette or boule, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large ripe tomato, cut into wedges
- 1 English cucumber, cut into one-inch (2.5 cm) cubes
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into one-inch (2.5 cm) cubes
- ½ red onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup sherry or red wine vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Prep and Cook
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Toss bread cubes in olive oil. Place on a baking sheet. Toast bread, stirring occasionally, until golden brown (about 10 minutes). Let cool.
- Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together in a bowl until emulsified. Season to taste.
- In a large bowl, combine bread cubes, tomatoes, cucumber, yellow pepper, red onion and basil. Add vinaigrette and toss well. Season with lots of salt and pepper.
- Let sit for at least 30 minutes before serving, so the bread can soak up all the juices.
What is your favourite summer salad recipe?
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