Summer Tomato Insalata with Grilled Bruschetta

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For the bruschetta

  • 1 loaf Ciabatta or other rustic country-style bread
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed

For the insalata

  • 4 to 5 tomatoes
  • 1 seedless cucumber
  • 1 small red onion, peeled
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 bulb fennel, frilly top removed
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Crumbled feta cheese and whole basil leaves for garnish


To make the bruschetta

Slice the bread into 1/2-inch slices and then cut each slice in half. Combine the olive oil and garlic and brush the bread slices lightly with the infused oil. Preheat an outdoor grill nice and hot, and grill the slices of bread, turning once, until they are browned and crunchy, about 2 to 3 minutes to a side.

To make the insalata

Cut the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, celery and fennel into thin slices. Place in a large mixing bowl and scatter with the capers.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetables and gently toss to coat. The flavors will increase with 1 to 2 hours of marinating, but the insalata will lose its crisp texture if left longer than about 4 hours. Traditionally it is served with just a blush of a chill on it, not refrigerator-cold.

Arrange the insalata on a serving platter and scatter with the feta cheese. Garnish with whole basil leaves and accompany with grilled bruschetta.

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