This Italian Bread Salad recipe IS summer! Fresh tomatoes, basil, cheese and bread, with a splash of balsamic dressing …could it get more perfect than that? It holds its own as a light lunch, or becomes the ultimate side to any piece of grilled meat. If you don’t have a garden of your own, run right to your favorite farmer’s market or fruit stand, grab a bunch of basil and some tomatoes, and you can be eating SUMMER tonight for dinner!

CVFM-Italian-Bread-SaladIngredients: *Serves 4-6

For the Salad:

  • 1 loaf Italian or French bread
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 2 cups fresh Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 large tomatoes or 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • Kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut bread into one-inch cubes to make about three cups, and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Toast on cookie sheet in oven until golden brown.
  3. Cut cheese and tomatoes into cubes.
  4. Roughly chop basil leaves.
  5. For dressing , add all ingredients together and blend well.
  6. Put bread cubes in bottom of large bowl and add dressing to coat. Add cheese, tomatoes and basil, and toss. Add more dressing as needed and serve.


*To simplify, substitute ready-made croutons for the toasted bread cubes. The croutons may need to soften for about five minutes in the dressing before adding other ingredients.

*If you use table salt instead of Kosher salt, adjust the amount to taste. Generally, you will need to reduce the amount of table salt as it is more dense than Kosher salt.

For more recipes like this, visit Kiwi & Carrot, produced by our food blogger , Sarah Romero.