Crunchy Tomato & Parsley Salad

  • 2-3 Fresh Tomatoes ( Ripe but Firm )
  • Parsley ( Italian or Curly Leaf )
  • Balsamic Vinegar ( A Good One )
  • Bread ( Italian or French )
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt ( Finishing )

A quick, tasty, and crunchy dish that can be served with lunch or dinner. An excellent use for extra tomatoes, or if your like me and consider tomatoes a staple (right up there with lemon, onion, garlic), then just another good dish.

Note. With minimal ingredient dishes, especially those that don't involve heat, always make sure you use the best, fresh ingredients you can find. If the tomato looks, smells, and feels so great you want to just bite into it; then that's the tomato you want to use.

Prep. The bread requires the most preparation. You can bake or use a frying pan. If baking, cut 1 or 2 slice of the Italian bread or 3-6 slices of the French Bread into nice size cubes. Spread on an oiled cookie sheet. Add more oil, garlic, or seasoning as desired. Bake until crisp like croutons.
To prepare on stove. Grab a medium or large frying pan. Heat without oil, until hot. Add bread cubes. The goal is to get a light toasting before you add oil, so the bread doesn't absorb too much oil. Shake, shift, turn, then drizzle with Olive Oil. Cook until toasted.

Steps. After the bread is prepared. The salad comes together very quickly. Cut the tomatoes into nice size chunks. Don't dice. Half of a wedge is a nice size for a small to medium size tomato. If it's a large tomato then the wedge cut be cut in three.

Add tomatoes to preparation bowl. Then add crunchy bread on top. Dice some fresh parsley (a small handful), then add that as well. 

Drizzle with Olive Oil, and then add balsamic vinegar. The better the balsamic the less you'll need. Mix with tongs or salad forks.  

Plate. To save the bread from getting soggy, always plate immediately. That way only the oil and vinegar that coated the mix remains. You can add a sprig of fresh parsley and or finishing salt to the final plate.

Serving. 2 small or medium size tomatoes serves one if it is the main dish; two if it is a side dish.

Calories. Again with the Olive Oil; but this time the bread as well. These two ingredients will add the bulk of the calories for the dish. The tomatoes are about 25 calories each. Toasted french bread about 70 calories for 3 slices. Estimated calories is around 250 calories.

Options. Use crostini instead of fresh bread. It's pre-toasted. Just cut and warm rapidly in a frying pan on the stove top. 

Basil. You can make this salad with Basil instead of Parsley. In fact, it's probably more traditional, since basil and tomatoes are Italian staples.