Jim Denevan of Outstanding in the Field prepares this salad to showcase specialty varieties of vegetables. In spring, halved cherry tomatoes are your best bet. In summer, heirloom variety beefsteak tomatoes work well.
8 ounces ciabatta, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 orange bell peppers (about 1 pound)
2 cups sliced radicchio (about 4 ounces)
2 tablespoons capers
1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced
Place bread on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally.
Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 10 minutes or until blackened. Place in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel; cut into 1-inch pieces.
Combine bread, bell peppers, and next 4 ingredients (through cucumber) in a large bowl. Combine vinegar and next 4 ingredients (through black pepper) in a small bowl. Gradually add oil, stirring with a whisk. Pour over bread mixture; toss.
Let stand 20 minutes or just until bread begins to soften. Sprinkle with basil.
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