Tomato and Garlic Crouton Salad (via Brian Boitano, Food Network)

This recipe is so easy and so tasty. Everytime I make it people go nuts for it. I get ciabatta rolsl at Walmart super cheap and use 4 of them. The crouton recipe is so good you can just make them and used them on any salad!

Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 6

Preparation time:
Cooking time:

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
3 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 loaf ciabatta bread cut into small cubes
3 tabelspoons red wine vinegar
2 pints red and yellow grape and pear tomatoes sliced in 1/2 (or red grape is fine if that is all you can find)
1 cup halved, slice kalamata olives
1/2 pound perlini mozzarella
8 basil leaves chopped (don't leave out...its so good!)

Method

preheat oven to 400 degrees F
in a small skillet over medium-low heat add 3 tbsp olive oil and the butter, garlic red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Cook to infuse the butter and oil with the garlic about 4minutes
Add the cubed bread to a large bowl, pour the butter and garlic mixture over the bread and toss to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil and red wine vinegar and set aside.
In a large serving bowl, combine the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, croutons, basil and the oil and vinegar mixture. Gently toss to coat all the tomatoes and croutons. Let the salad sit for 10 minutes before serving.

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