I know it’s not even June yet, but it totally feels like summer here in Madison and I am loving it! I’ve already started whipping up all of my favorite salads, started a list of my favorite summer fruits to grab when they are available and am keeping a close eye on the herbs and vegetables that we are growing.
Summer, to me, is really about keeping it simple and easy. Because the kids are out of school and I find that we’re outside for most of the day, I want to be able to quickly throw a salad or light meal together fast. And it all starts with great, fresh ingredients.
And a salad isn’t a good salad without a great dressing.
I’ve been using Pompeian balsamic vinegar for as long as I have been cooking. It’s the one I always seem to gravitate to at the grocery store and it’s the best tasting!
This is one of my go-to salads for the summer and you better believe I am making this one again for Memorial Day! It has everything I love: homemade croutons, fresh tomatoes, basil, a little arugula, mixed greens, salami, mozzarella and of course, a great tasting, super easy balsamic dressing.
If you need a fabulous salad for this weekend or Monday’s BBQ, I hope you give this one a try!
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon dried herbs: parsley, thyme and oregano
- 2 cups French baguette bread, cut into cubes (day old baguette bread works best)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dry basil
- spring mix of greens, including arugula
- assortment heirloom or grape tomatoes; cut in half
- fresh mozzarella; torn into little chunks
- salami; sliced into strips or cubes
- handful fresh basil; torn into pieces
- pepper if desired
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, dijon and the dried herbs. mix well and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the bread into cubes and place into a large mixing bowl. Heat the butter and garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted. Pour the butter/garlic mixture over the bread cubes and toss to coat and sprinkle on the dry basil and mix one more time. Transfer the bread cubes to a lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before mixing with the salad.
- Place all salad ingredients into a large mixing bowl, including the homemade croutons, pour the dressing over everything and toss together. Season with fresh cracked pepper if desired and serve immediately.
Disclosure: This post is in partnership with Pompeian’s Blogger Ambassador Program and Pompeian Pantry Insiders. I was compensated for this post and as always, all opinions are 100% my own.