Lazy Bruschetta salad
This dish is simple, super-easy to make and delicious. Often the key to great tasting food is keeping things simple and not complicating it. The bright basil adds a unique spicy, anise-like taste to the fresh, juicy tomatoes, red onion and black olives. Good quality balsamic and extra-virgin olive oil will blast more flavour into this dish. It’s not only yummy and a huge crowd pleaser, but rich enough to make a satisfying lunch or light dinner.
4 cups whole grain bread, day or two old or toasted
½ cup red onion
8-10 large basil leaves
¼ cup black olives
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
Unrefined sea salt and ground pepper to taste.
1.Chop tomatoes, onion, and basil. Cut whole grain bread into cubes.
2. Put all ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with olive oil and balsamic just before you serve so the bread does not get soggy.
Note: If you prefer crunch, then toasting the bread may be for you. You don’t have to use 1-2 day old bread if you are toasting it. Garlic would also go well in this dish, either chopping it in or making the bread cubes into garlic bread…I will be trying that next time J
The name basil is derived from the Greek word basilikon, meaning “royal,” as there was a high respect for this herb. Basil has been revered in many cultures. In Italy, it was considered a symbol of love and still is. There are more than sixty different varieties of basil (lemon basil, anise basil, cinnamon basil), the most popular being sweet basil, which has a bright, yet spicy, "clovelike" taste. The basil plant has round leaves that are often pointed and are green, although some varieties feature hints of red or purple.
Basil is packed with nutrients, such as iron, calcium and folate. It is a good source of protein, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin. It’s a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, C, K, B6, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese. Whenever possible, choose fresh basil, since it contains more of these nutrients than dried basil. Basil leaves also contain flavonoids which act as antioxidants, helping keep your body free from damage.
It belongs to the mint family and looks a little like peppermint. It is used as a digestive aid, mild sedative, and for treatment of headaches. In China, it is used for spasms of the intestinal tract, kidney ailments and poor circulation.
The oils in basil or highly volatile, therefore add the herb near the end of the cooking process to retain its maximum essence and flavour.