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Serves 6; total cooking time: 1 hour and 15 minutes Servings


  • 6 ripe tomatoes (about 2 1/4 pounds total)
  • 12 ounce ciabatta or other country-style white bread, 2 to 3 days old
  • 2/3 cup plus 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, plus whole sprigs for garnish
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • 1 cup jarred roasted red bell pepper strips, drained
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved lengthwise


Baking Directions:

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.

Prepare a large bowl of ice water.

Cut an "x" at the bottom of each tomato and submerge the tomatoes in the boiling water for 10 seconds.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to the ice water to cool slightly.

Using a small sharp paring knife, peel off the tomato skins, and cut the tomatoes in half.

Scoop out and discard the seeds, then cut the tomatoes into 1-inch cubes.

Cut the crusts off the bread, and cut or tear the bread into 1-inch cubes.

In a large bowl, whisk 2/3 cup of oil, 1/4 cup of vinegar, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and pepper to blend.

Add the bread cubes, tomatoes, and sliced basil, and toss to combine.

Set aside until the bread absorbs the vinaigrette, tossing occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Season the salad with more salt and pepper to taste.

In a small bowl, soak the capers in the remaining 2 tablespoons of vinegar for 10 minutes.


In another small bowl toss the roasted peppers with 2 tablespoons of oil.

Season the peppers with 1/4 teaspoon of each salt and pepper.

Transfer half of the bread mixture to a 13x9x2-inch glass dish.

Arrange half of the roasted peppers, capers, and olives over the bread mixture.

Repeat layering with the remaining bread mixture, then the remaining peppers, capers, and olives.

Cover the salad and let stand at room temperature for the flavors to blend, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the salad.

Garnish with the basil sprigs and serve.

To make breadcrumbs, cut the stale bread into pieces, then place them in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they’re finely ground.

To make croutons, cut the stale bread into bite-size pieces, then place them on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven until crisp and golden, about 8 minutes.