You might be familiar with this salad when it is made with stale bread, but for some more texture and taste try making it with taralli.
Taralli are small bread rounds, much in the fashion of bagels, which after being baked are toasted to a crisp. It is a traditional food from Puglia, Calabria and Basilicata. The story goes that the taralli were made specifically for the shepherds and workers that traveled to their fields. The taralli lasted and traveled well, and once tossed with some condiments they revive and are delicious.
Serves 4 to 6
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
8 ounces taralli
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, shredded
- In a large serving bowl, toss together the tomatoes, red onion and oregano. Break the taralli into 1-inch pieces and add to the bowl.
- Drizzle with the vinegar and oil and season with the salt. Let the salad sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes to moisten the taralli with the dressing and tomato juices. Just before serving, toss with the shredded basil.
Lidia Bastianich is a best-selling cookbook author, restaurateur, owner of a flourishing food and entertainment business and host of public television's cooking series, Lidia's Italy.