This is my twist on an Italian bread salad — a great way to use up that stale loaf. Traditionally the bread would be added fresh and left to soak up all of the juices, but I find this far too soggy for my liking. Instead, I prefer to toast the bread into croutons and add them at the last minute to deliver some crunch.
Makes: 4 serves
Takes: 20 minutes
1 stale baguette, ripped into small chunks
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 preserved lemon
500g mixed heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped into different shapes
250g strawberries, hulled & halved
¼ watermelon, peeled and roughly chopped
1 red onion, finely diced
Small handful basil leaves, chopped
Small handful parsley leaves
Salt & pepper
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sugar
4 Tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper
Method: Preheat your oven to 180°C. Toss baguette, olive oil and garlic together on a baking tray, and season with salt and pepper. Spread into an even layer and bake for 12–15 minutes until golden and crispy. Remove and allow to cool slightly. Remove the flesh from preserved lemon and discard. Finely slice the rind into thin ribbons.
To make the dressing, combine all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the remaining ingredients to a large bowl and drizzle over the dressing, tossing gently to coat. Add the crispy croutons just before serving, allowing them to soak up some of the tomato juices and dressing.