As we are preparing a trip to the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco ( which means literally, the hub of the world ) ,there is little time left to spend in the kitchen.
Despite of that, we still planned a small dinner party for friends who are visiting us in Peru.
Short of time, but still wanting to prepare something refreshing with a little twist, I remembered this wonderful, tasty salad that represents the aromas of the Mediterranean and was one of our favorite treats when in Tuscany.
It's ideal for summer, when tomatoes are at their best and a great way to use left over baguette or other bread.
-400g ripe cherry tomatoes halved (or ripe mixed tomatoes, roughly chopped)
-1/2 stale baguette or ciabatta bread (you can as well use a fresh one. In this case bake it in the oven at low temperature until dried up)
-2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crashed
-1/2 cup of good quality olive oil
-2 sprigs of Rosemary
-1/2 cup of black olives, cored and coarsely chopped
-1/2 spoonful chopped chili, seeds removed (optional)
-1 spoonful fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
For the dressing:
-2 tablespoon of Balsamic vinegar
-1 teaspoon of brown sugar
-4 Table spoon of good quality olive oil
- freshly ground pepper and salt
Wash and halve the Cherry tomatoes
mix the olive oil with the crushed garlic, add a bit of salt
tear the bread into thumb sized pieces and brush with the olive oil- garlic mixture
Bake in oven together with the Rosemary at 220 C until golden brown.
Mix the tomatoes in a large bowl with salt and pepper, put aside for about 10 minutes at room temperature, then mix again together.
Add olives, bread pieces and, if you wish, the chili.
Apart, in a smaller bowl mix well the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and brown sugar( until dissolved) for the dressing.
Pour over the salad ( the idea is that the bread soaks up all the flavors), mix carefully again and sprinkle with basil leaves.
See you next week