This is a salad that sums up summer and the ingredients can change depending on what’s in season. The standard is that there is always tomatoes and bread. Feel free to use various fruits when in season and other vegetables. This salad goes great with any meat right off the grill.
4 assorted color bell peppers
1 lb. day old bread, crust removed and torn into pieces
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 sprigs of thyme
½ cantaloupe or other summer melon de-seeded and cut into ¼ inch pieces
1 red onion, spring onion or shallot, julienned
2 cucumbers, de-seeded, striped and cut into ¼ inch half moons
A handful of fresh basil, leaves picked
Charred Pepper Vinaigrette
Yield: 1 quart
1 cup honey (orange blossom or any wildflower honey is great)
1 cup champagne vinegar
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1.5 cups extra virgin olive oil
4 mild peppers, 3 de-seeded
For the Vinaigrette
Char peppers and de-seed 3 of the peppers. Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until emulsified.
- Char peppers over direct heat or in a dry non-stick pan until blackened all over. Put in a mixing and cover with plastic to steam. When cool enough to peel, remove skin and tear into ½ inch pieces.
- Melt butter in pan over medium heat, add bread and thyme, season with salt and cook, turning frequently until crispy.
- Combine peppers, croutons, melon, onion, cucumbers and basil in a bowl, dress with vinaigrette and let rest for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Serve on cool or room temperature plates.