BLT Bread Salad

Total Time:
40 min
15 min
25 min

6 servings

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced pancetta
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 loaf crusty Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 5 cups)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1 1/4-inch chunks
  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 ounces ricotta salata cheese, shaved
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Soak the onion in a bowl of cold water while you prepare the salad.

  • Working in batches, cook the pancetta in a single layer in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain; reserve the drippings.

  • Combine 1 tablespoon each olive oil and pancetta drippings in a small bowl. Toss with the bread cubes on a baking sheet and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; spread in an even layer. Bake, stirring once, until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes.

  • Drain the onion and chop all but 6 slices pancetta. Add to a large bowl with the tomatoes, arugula, basil, olives, bread, vinegar and the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Toss and season with salt and pepper.

  • Divide the salad among bowls. Top each with some ricotta salata and a piece of reserved pancetta.

  • Photograph by Jonathan Kantor

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    This recipe is featured in:

    Summer Produce Guide