Ok, I admit it. My husband and I have indulged in this tomato and bread salad more than once recently. Oh. My. Yum.
With summer coming, this is the perfect hot weather treat-meal or a great one to bring to a cookout. Easy to throw together and bursting with summer tomatoes’ juicy sweet-yet-acidic pop. Fresh basil just puts this over the top – the fragrance is like summer-heaven. What more could you want, right? The artichoke hearts are great with this. They have a little hint of lemon and the texture is so nice in the salad. Just buy the water packed hearts to avoid the oil in the marinated ones. And the olives – can I tell you how much I love kalamata and Greek olives? I’d rather eat a bowl of olives than a bowl of ice cream. Just give me an excuse to use them and I’m all about it. 🙂
This totally reminds me of eating tomato and mozzarella topped bruschetta which I LOVE but don’t eat anymore because of the cheese. I think I enjoy this even more. Have you ever tried a plate of sliced summer tomatoes and avocado with balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper? A-MA-ZING. The plant-based take on caprese salad. Maybe I’ll try this salad with some diced avocado tossed in once in a while – note to self… do that!
Truth be told, on most occasions I try to stay away from bread. There’s not a whole lot about it that is good for you. It’s quite calorie dense and doesn’t give a lot back nutritionally. Yes, whole grain bread provides some fiber and nutrients, but it’s definitely not everyday fare on a low fat, whole food, plant based diet.
But this bread and tomato salad is far superior, nutritionally speaking, than most bread salad. You won’t find white bread, chunks of cheese and oily, high fat dressing. This one’s brimming with veggies and don’t forget, it has those little nutritional power houses – yup – I’m talkin’ ’bout the beans. Creamy canellini beans bring lots of fiber and nutrients to the bowl and taste delicious too. Make this salad more about the veggies than the bread and you can indulge without guilt.
- 4-5 slices Ezekiel Bread (or other hearty whole grain bread of choice)
- 1 large, 3 small or 8-10 cherry tomatoes
- 10 large leaves fresh basil, torn into bite-sized pieces
- ½ can white canellini beans, rinsed
- ½ can artichoke hearts, drained
- ¼ kalamata olives, sliced
- ½ t garlic powder
- ½ T olive oil (optional)
- ½ cup bottled fat free balsamic vinaigrette (I use Trader Joe's)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cut bread into small squares and place into a bowl.
- Drizzle the olive oil (the least amount possible!) onto the bread.
- Sprinkle on garlic powered and salt and pepper.
- Spread into a pan and bake in a 350 degree oven until toasted, about 10-15 minutes.
- Toss the toasted bread with the rest of the ingredients into a bowl. Taste for seasoning and adjust to taste.
I think I need to go make this salad. Like NOW. My mouth is watering. 😉
Spreading the veggie love,