Italian Bread Salad
½ large loaf rustic Italian bread
6 ripe tomatoes
3 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 stalk celery, medium chopped
1 bulb fennel, medium chopped
1 yellow pepper, seeded, ribs removed, medium chopped
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
12-15 fresh basil leaves, roughly torn into large pieces
Tear, chop, or crumble bread into small pieces and place into a large bowl. Add all the chopped vegetables and mix with the bread. Add vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and basil leaves. Toss thoroughly and the season with salt and pepper. Let rest at room temperature for 1-2 hours before serving.
Other variations include adding capers, hard-boiled eggs, tuna fish or olives.