Fresh Mozzarella Tomato Salad with Torn Pesto Croutons

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I can’t get enough fresh basil in summer, so I often bake pesto croutons, which provide extra herbs and crunch.  I love this salad on its own or spread across a bed of arugula.  And I’ll put the croutons on any fresh mix of greens. 

 Serves 4 to 6

1/2 cup Basil Pesto

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 day-old baguette or Italian bread, cut or torn into 1-inch pieces

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large heirloom tomatoes, cored and sliced

8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

12 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces or thinly sliced

 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  1. Place the pesto in a large bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to combine. Add the bread and toss to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste and spread on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer.

  2. Bake until crispy and golden brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

  3. Arrange the tomatoes and mozzarella on a large platter, drizzle with the remaining olive oil, sprinkle with basil, season to taste with salt and pepper and top with the croutons. This salad is best served room temperature



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