Home on the range

Bread in season

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1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

For bread:
1/2 pound Italian "country" bread (or French boule), fresh or day-old, cut or torn into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

Toss:
In a large bowl, toss tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, roasted pepper, red onion, chopped garlic, vinegar, oil, basil and salt. Let rest while preparing bread.

Toast:
On a rimmed baking sheet, toss bread, oil, sliced garlic and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Slide into a 350-degree oven and toast, shaking pan once or twice, until bread is crisp and golden, about 15 minutes.

Serve:
Scrape bread mixture onto tomato mixture. Toss gently. Enjoy.

Leah Eskin is a Tribune special contributor e-mail her at leahreskin@aol.com
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