Here's a refreshing and healthy salad from Mario Batali. You can use a mandolin to achieve the paper-thin slices of cucumber and zucchini called for in this recipe, but make sure you don't get distracted.
- 2 large English cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced into ¼-inch-thick pieces
- 2 medium zucchini, sliced into paper-thin rounds
- 1 medium red onion, halved and sliced paper-thin
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 20 fresh basil leaves, torn
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 pound day-old crusty peasant-style whole-grain bread, cut into 1-inch cubes*
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Toss the cucumbers, zucchini, and red onion into a large salad bowl. Add the oil, vinegar, and half of the basil. Season with salt and pepper and allow the mixture to stand at room temperature.
Place the bread cubes on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 8 minutes until warm and toasted but not hard. Remove and toss into bowl with vegetables. Add the remaining basil, stir gently to mix, and allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes before serving.