Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Salad
by Lisa Bynum, from the April/May 2020 issue of Eat Drink Mississippi
2 cups day old bread, cubed
1/2 cup, plus two tablespoons, extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound cherry tomatoes
1 pound ciliegine (small, fresh mozzarella balls)
1-1/2 cups basil leaves, torn
To make the croutons:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread bread crumbs out on a baking sheet. Drizzle with two tablespoons of olive oil.
Sprinkle with one teaspoon of salt and the Italian seasoning. Toss to coat. Bake for 5-10 minutes until croutons are slightly golden and crispy. Allow croutons to cool.
Assemble the salad:
Meanwhile, combine the remaining olive oil, salt, vinegar, and black pepper to make the dressing.
In a separate bowl, combine tomatoes, ciliegine, and basil.
Pour dressing over salad. Toss to combine.
Sprinkle with toasted croutons.