Bruschetta Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing

A popular Italian appetizer is transformed into a salad that’s perfect for a crowd. It features crisp grilled garlic bread, sliced tomatoes, olives and a fresh basil dressing with a hint of lemon. All of the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time, but wait until right before serving to assemble the salad so that the bread stays crisp.

DRESSING

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup slightly packed fresh basil
1 1/2 tablespoons Rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 small garlic clove
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

SALAD

1/2 cup thinly sliced halved sweet onion
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
12 slices artisan bread (1/4 inch), halved (from oval, not round, loaf)
3 medium assorted-colored tomatoes (about 6 oz. each), sliced
1 cup assorted-colored cherry tomatoes, halved
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup assorted pitted olives or Kalamata olives, halved

1. Blend all dressing ingredients in blender until smooth.

2. Soak onion in small bowl of ice water 20 minutes or until crisp; drain. Pat dry.

3. Meanwhile, heat grill. With side of knife, mash medium garlic clove on cutting board until paste forms. Combine with 1 tablespoon oil in small bowl; lightly brush over both sides of bread.

4. Grill bread, covered, over medium heat or coals 2 minutes or until lightly toasted, turning once and watching carefully. (Bread can be prepared 2 hours ahead.) Arrange in single layer on large platter. Arrange sliced tomatoes over bread, leaving edges of bread on outside of platter visible. Layer onions over tomatoes; top with cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle with 1/8 each teaspoon salt and pepper. Scatter olives over all; drizzle with dressing.

8 (3/4-cup) servings

PER SERVING: 160 calories, 10 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 2.5 g protein, 15 g carbohydrate, 0 mg cholesterol, 245 mg sodium, 2 g fiber


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