If you like croutons on your salad, try a bread salad. It has a different balance than a salad with croutons, there’s more bread with more salad. You can use a bread salad as a main dish salad, not just a side salad.
Bread salads have three components: Greens, meats or cheese for protein, and bread chunks. Add whatever dressing that you like. The bread chunks play the role of croutons only there are more of them, larger, and not as crunchy.
Choose your greens.
Actually, think far beyond just the greens. Add vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, corn, beans, and red beats. Add fruits and nuts like sunflower seeds, walnuts, or dried cranberries.
It is essential that your greens are dry so that they do not make the other ingredients wet. Consider a salad spinner.
Choose your cheese.
We went to the store and bought most of the specialty cheeses that they carried. (The cook in our test kitchen went nuts with all the cheeses she could try.)
We like pungent or robust cheeses though milder cheeses can be used. Swiss, feta, sharp cheddar, and gorgonzola are favorites. For robust cheeses, cut the cheese thinly or crumble it into smaller pierces. Use larger pieces for milder cheeses so that the flavor does not get lost in the salad. Use a cheese slicer for uniform, attractive slices.
Choose your bread.
This is an opportunity to showcase unique or flavorful breads. Think beyond the normal white or wheat. Consider what breads you might choose if you were making a sandwich with these ingredients. Rye breads, cheese breads, and chili breads are wonderful.
Toast your breads until they are well done. The drier breads, well toasted, will add a bit of crunch and hold together under a coating of dressing.
More Bread Salad Recipes
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