Italian Bread Salad
PREP: 25 minutes BAKE: 20 minutes STAND: 10 minutes OVEN: 400°F MAKES 6 servings
8 ounces crusty Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
Ground black pepper
6 medium roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon snipped fresh oregano or 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
11⁄2 cups chopped, seeded cucumber (1 medium)
1⁄2 cup torn fresh basil
1⁄2 cup mozzarella- or provolone-flavor soy cheese, shredded; or dairy cheese, shredded
1⁄4 cup thin wedges red onion
1 Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large shallow baking pan spread out bread cubes in a single layer. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil* and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Bake, uncovered, 8 minutes or until crisp and brown but soft inside. Transfer bread cubes to a large bowl. Set aside.
2 Place roma tomatoes, cut sides down, on the same baking pan. Bake, uncovered, about 12 minutes or until softened and skins begin to brown. Carefully pinch tomato skins to remove; discard.
3 For vinaigrette, in a blender or food processor combine 4 of the tomato halves, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the vinegar, oregano, garlic, and sugar. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4 Coarsely chop remaining tomato halves. In the large bowl with bread cubes combine the chopped tomatoes and vinaigrette. Let stand about 10 minutes or until bread cubes soften slightly and absorb vinaigrette.
5 Add drained cannellini beans, cucumber, basil, cheese, and red onion; toss to combine.
PER SERVING: 259 cal., 11 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 641 mg sodium, 35 g carb., 6 g fiber, 11 g pro.
If necessary, spread bread cubes into two pans and use an additional tablespoon olive oil.