Italian Bread and Tomato Salad

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As a southern lady, I could wax poetic all day about the merits of growing your own tomatoes. Going out to your garden, salt shaker in hand to eat one of those red orbs, warmed by the sun is a true pleasure.
The smell of a tomato vine gets my senses all stirred up, especially when it is combined with freshly tilled dirt. We love to eat them around here all season long.
I recently found a delicious way to use fresh garden tomatoes from, and I wanted to share it with you, dear readers.

Recipe for Italian Bread and Tomato Salad

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces day-old Italian bread, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
6 dead-ripe meaty tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into quarters
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/3 cup fruity extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
7 or 8 grindings black pepper

Place a small saucepan over medium heat and add the butter. When it’s about half melted, throw in the garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, allowing the garlic to take on a little bit of color. Remove from the heat and brush this mixture on both sides of each slice of bread.

Oil the grill racks. Preheat your grill using all burners set on high and with the lid closed for 10 to 12 minutes.

Place the bread on the grill, close the lid, and cook, turning once, until well marked. Careful here; depending on the moisture content of the bread, this could happen as quickly as 2 minutes (or about 1 minute on each side), but it usually takes about 4 minutes. Place the tomatoes on the grill, close the lid, and cook for a few minutes per side.

Remove the bread to a cutting board, cut into 3/4-inch cubes, and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the tomatoes, onion, olive oil, vinegar, herbs, salt, and pepper. Toss gently with your hands to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings if you desire. Serve at room temperature.

That’s the news from the homestead, see you next week!

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