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Bruschetta Salad with Garlic Croutons and Parm Crisps

June 12, 2015

It's time to fill our gardens and kitchens with fresh early summer herbs and basil season is in full swing, so it felt like a good time for me to create a basil-focused salad recipe with this Rustic Bruschetta Salad with Parmesan Crisps and homemade Garlic Croutons. All the flavours of a classic Bruschetta appetizer in salad form!

Garden tomato season is yet to come, but lucky for us, British Columbia greenhouses have been growing strong all spring and Windset Farms has the perfect assortment of tiny tomatoes with various tastes and textures to give this Bruchetta Salad a burst of colour and fresh flavours - the Symphony Tomato Ensemble, fresh picked and ready to eat.

This assortment of tiny toms changes in varieties throughout the season, and my package was filled with sweet yellow & orange cherry tomatoes, a red cherry and firm grape red variety, and some beautiful green zebra-striped ones with dark red flesh and savoury taste.

As the following salad is silly easy and quick to make, there's time to jazz it up with homemade garlic croutons that bring that classic bruschetta garlic toast flavour to the salad and tasty parmesan crisps, which are actually totally easy to make themselves, only adding a few minutes of oven baking to your prep as they bake together and well worth the effort.

Really short on time? Use store-bought croutons and garnish the salad with grated Parmesan. Gluten or Dairy-free? Skip the croutons & parm, add whole roasted garlic cloves to the salad and sprinkle with chia seeds for crunch. As for the salad's lettuce base, I like a head lettuce like Butter lettuce or Romaine, but it's also surprisingly tasty on a bed of fresh alfalfa sprouts for a quick healthy lunch.

There's no real "dressing" for this salad, simply garnish the individual servings with a drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to your taste, with a dash of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

 

Rustic Bruschetta Salad with Garlic Croutons and Parmesan Crisps

Ingredients

One head of lettuce - Butter or Romaine are nice choices

15 assorted small tomatoes or three large sized tomatoes

6 fresh basil leaves

1/4 of a red onion

3 cups bread, cut into cubes

2 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons olive oil

10 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

Balsamic Vinegar & Extra Virgin Olive Oil along with Sea Salt & fresh cracked Pepper for dressing

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. While the oven heats, prep your vegetables: fine slice the red onion, core and slice the tomatoes, set aside. Wash, dry and chop the lettuce, place in a large salad bowl and set aside.

Crush or fine dice the garlic cloves, place in a bowl with the bread cubes. Drizzle with olive oil, toss cubes until coated then spread out on a baking sheet.

On a second parchment-lined baking sheet, mound scoops of grated parmesan in small circles. 1 tablespoon sized for small bite-sized crisps, 2 tablespoons for larger decorative crisps.

Get both the croutons and parmesan crisps into the oven, bread on the bottom rack, cheese on the top rack. Set oven timer for five minutes. After five minutes stir the croutons and return them to the oven and check on the parmesan crisps - looking for a bubbly texture and lightly golden colour when done. Small crisps take approximately 5 minutes, large approx. 10 minutes depending on the moisture in your cheese. Croutons are done when lightly toasted and golden, approximately 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Cut basil leaves into a Chiffonade (nice little fluffy pile of basil shreds) by rolling the leaves into a cigar shape, then slicing off into small 'rolls'. Here's a step-by-step guide if you need a little help.

Begin assembling your salad with lettuce, followed by tomatoes and red onions. Top with the basil chiffonade, croutons and parmesan crisps, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil with a dash of sea salt and cracked pepper.

Devour!

Disclosure: I am provided with Windset Farms vegetables for review and recipe creation, however all product opinions and recipes are my own.

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You had me at Parmesan Crisps! The whole thing looks delicious!

Your salad looks wonderful and so colourful! Love the variety of tomatoes!! I also like to dress my salads simply with olive oil and balsamic, it highlights the herbs and all the components of the salad. Beautiful picture too.

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