Second, it wasn't a recipe so much as a Choose Your Own Adventure story. Remember those books? They left the character's choices up to you, and you'd flip to a certain page in the book once you made your choice? Those were fun. This is similarly fun. There are only 5 steps, but 3 out of the 5 are options for you to choose what you like! You get to choose the type of bread, your mix-ins, and your protein. The only standards are the base and the dressing. So basically every time you make this salad, it could be totally different.
I made it one day that we were having Mark's parents over for dinner. Everyone liked it, but Mark really did. In fact, I am pretty sure he finished it for breakfast one morning, which is very weird but whatever, at least he liked it! Similar to yesterday's salad, I think this one is best eaten right away when the bread cubes are still crunchy, but hey, Mark would vouch for it for breakfast the next day :)
In case you're curious our choices were ciabatta for the bread, and our mix-ins were olives, artichoke hearts and arugula. Our protein was white beans :) What choices are you going to try for this mix and match salad?
mix and match bread salad
from July/August edition of Food Network Magazine, 2014
1) Choose a bread:
- olive bread
- pocketless pita
2) Make the base.
Cut 2 pounds tomatoes into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups). Toss with the bread. Add up to 1 cup chopped fresh herbs (parsley, basil, mint, and/or chives).
3) Add your mix-ins:
Prepare 1 cup each; choose up to 3. Add to the bowl.
- bell peppers, diced
- oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained and chopped (up to 1/2 cup)
- frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and halved
- olives, pitted (up to 1/2 cup)
- celery, sliced
- baby greens (spinach, arugula, or kale)
- hearts of palm, drained and sliced
- cucumbers, sliced
- roasted red peppers, drained and chopped (up to 1/2 cup)
- vidalia or red onion, thinly sliced
- canned tuna, drained and flaked
- salami, cut into strips
- steak, cooked and thinly sliced
- rotisserie chicken, chopped
- hard-cooked eggs, chopped
- bacon or pancetta, cooked and crumbled
- cheese (feta, goat, cheddar or mozzarella), crumbled or diced
- deli meat (ham, roast beef, or smoked turkey), chopped
- canned chickpeas or white beans, rinsed