When Soggy Bread Is A Good Thing
Have you ever had bread salad?
No? Why not?
I bet you think it’s just a pile of soggy bread, right?
Until last month I was totally one of those why-would-I-eat-a-pile-of-soggy-bread people.
Was I ever wrong. Well, not about the soggy bread. The bread is soggy. But I was wrong to think that soggy bread is a bad thing. Turns out soggy bread is a very very good thing.
I’m not saying that bread dipped in water is good. It’s gotta be soggy in the right way. You know, like how the middle of garlic bread is all soft and squidgy with melted butter? It’s soggy bread, right? But it’s gooooood soggy bread.
That’s what bread salad is: Goooooood Soggy Bread. The sogginess is caused by olive oil, lemon juice, tomato, garlic, onions and herbs. How can that sogginess possibly be a bad thing?
For my first bread salad I used stale bread cubes, which was perfectly fine. But since becoming bread salad obsessed I’ve come up with the ultimate method: I toast the bread and then rub both sides of every slice with the cut side of a clove of garlic. This spreads a subtle but even garlic flavor throughout the salad. Add sun dried tomatoes to the recipe and I can’t stop eating it. Even the next day when it’s beyond soggy I keep going back to the fridge for one more cube of garlicky wet bread. Love it. When I’m not snagging a cube out of the fridge, my favorite things to eat Bread Salad with are scrambled eggs, steak and roasted chicken.
- 1/2lb of bread (half of a good-sized loaf) hand-sliced to the thickest size that will fit in your toaster
- 1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and hard stem end cut off
- 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes that were packed in oil
- 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley plus 1-2 tbsps more for garnish
- Use a toaster to toast the bread slices. While the toast is still warm, rub both sides of each slice with the cut side of the clove of garlic. Set the toast aside to cool. Rub the cut side of the remaining stub of garlic all over the inside of a large bowl. Discard the last bit of the clove.
- Finely chop the sun dried tomatoes. Scrape the tomatoes and any oil that has accumulated on the cutting board into the bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the bit of parsley that will be saved for a garnish. Stir to combine.
- Use a bread knife to cut the toast into one inch cubes. Add the toast to the bowl. Stir it all around for a few minutes so that the tomatoes bruise into the bread as it sucks up all the flavors. Taste. Add a bit more salt and pepper if desired (I almost always add more pepper). Garnish with the remaining parsley and serve.