Dana Treat – Treat Yourself

Not My Regular Salad

Posted January 22, 2011

Roasted Tomato Salad with Croutons
Dana Treat Original
Serves 2 generously

I like my salad dressing to have a lot of bite, so I use much less olive oil than the standard 3:1 ratio.  Definitely make yours to your taste.  The baked tomatoes are a riff on a Barefoot Contessa recipe and this is a great method to make sub-par tomatoes taste good.

For the Dressing
1 small shallot, minced
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. mustard
½ tsp. sugar
Large pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. olive oil

For the Salad
5 slices good country bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Good balsamic vinegar
12 “strawberry” tomatoes
1 tsp. sugar
12 basil leaves, julienned or torn
2 handfuls lettuce leaves
½ cup ricotta salata, broken into big crumbles

Make the Dressing
Place the shallot, lemon juice, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper in a wide mouth jar.  Cover the jar and give it a good shake.  Remove the cover and add the olive oil.  Cover and shake again.  Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.  (Can be made up to a week ahead.)

Make the Salad
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.  Place the bread cubes on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle a large pinch of salt over top and a few grinds of black pepper.  Toss well with your hands.  Place in the oven and bake until starting to turn golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Set aside.

Turn the oven up to 425ºF.  Slice each tomato in half.  Set aside four of them and seed the other eight.  Place on small baking tray and drizzle with olive oil along with the sugar, and a large pinch of salt and a couple grinds of pepper.  Toss gently with your hands.  Carefully drizzle on just a bit of balsamic vinegar.  Bake until dark, caramelized and slightly collapsed, about 25 minutes.  Remove and set aside.

Place the croutons in a salad bowl.  Scrape the tomatoes and any juices over top.  Chop up the raw tomatoes and add them to the bowl along with the basil and and the lettuce.  Scatter the cheese over top and pour about half the dressing over top.  Toss carefully and taste.  Add more dressing as needed.

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