Monday, March 30, 2015

Tomato and Bread Salad

"Farewell Diana Henry", this is the theme for our final week with Diana Henry at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). Six months have already gone by and it has been a delicious six months. I have not heard of Diana Henry before this, and joining IHCC is a wonderful way of getting to know a new chef, whether we are familiar with or not. Much as I have enjoyed cooking with Diana Henry (love her chicken recipes), it is time to move on to our next chosen chef, Jacques Pepin and looking forward to some French cooking in my kitchen! IHCC starts with a new chef every six months, you are welcome to join us, the more the merrier! Drop by IHCC for more details.

To say "Farewell Diana Henry", (though I'll definitely be seeing her again for our Potluck Weeks), I've made her salad, "Spanish Tomato and Bread Salad". I did make a few changes though. I've used some leftover homemade Garlic and Rosemary Foccacia which I've kept frozen, instead of using ciabatta as advised in the recipe. However I did not soak the bread in milk, and fried, as indicated in the recipe. I merely place the chunks of the torn foccacia in a roasting tray, drizzle with some olive oil, and toast them in the oven until they are lightly crisp.

Now I love capers! And thought that I had an unopened jar in my pantry somewhere. I searched and practically empty out my pantry cupboard, but no, there's not a jar of capers around! What I found was, one jar of black olives, two jars of green olives and a small can of Manzanilla olives stuffed with anchovies. Since the recipe did ask for anchovies, so I've used the stuffed Manzanilla olives with anchovies.
Capers is on my grocery list now!

I've used a mixture of sweet, yellow and red cherry tomatoes. A simple, easy and wonderful salad to put together. I've served this alongside some roasted chicken, and it makes a lovely side dish.

Spanish Tomato and Bread Salad
(adapted from "Food From Plenty", Diana Henry)
Serves 4
200gm (7oz) bread (such as ciabatta)
5 tbsp milk
700gm (1lb 9oz) mixed tomatoes
20 canned anchovies
2 tbsp tiny capers, rinsed
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
1 tsp caster sugar
leaves from 1 bunch basil (about 15gm/1/2oz) torn
3 tbsp olive oil, for frying

  1. Tear the bread into chunks and put into a bowl with the milk. Turn the bread over in the milk and leave for 15 minutes or so. Halve the small tomatoes and cut the large ones into quarters or eighths; you may want to leave some of the tomatoes whole if they are really tiny; you just need a good selection of colour and shape. Put into a broad, shallow serving bowl with all the other ingredients except the basil (which is better tossed in at the last moment) and the oil for frying.
  2. Squeeze the milk out of the bread. It doesn't matter if some chunks seem to be falling apart; just reform them by squeezing with your hand. Heat the olive oil for frying and cook the bread pieces in batches, so that they become a lovely golden colour all over the outside.
  3. Add the basil to the salad along with the bread, toss well and serve.


Farewell Diana Henry and Thank You!

Here's a few of our favourite Diana Henry's recipes 

I'm linking this post with :
I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week "Farewell Diana Henry"



  1. Joyce, I have never had a bread salad before, so I find this rather interesting. I had a laugh about your missing capers. This sort of thing has happened to me before LOL!

  2. I love bread salad! Yours with all the fresh grape tomatoes looks so GOOD!

  3. Such a bright and colourful salad Joyce! I love the ingredients and I think your home made focaccia was the perfect match for the flavours in it. I've really enjoyed cooking with Diana Henry also and don't plan to stop.

  4. Hi Joyce,

    I have not hear much of Diana Henry too before seeing your IHCC posts. I'm sure that you have learned a lot from her recipes in the last 6 months of IHCC.

    Very lovely salad. This is so stylish to eat.


  5. I've made that salad before - I used some homemade cornbread which didn't turn out quite right. It has such great flavours and it is so adaptable!

  6. Ina Garten got me hooked on bread salads--I don't know how I missed this one. Love the colors of the sweet baby tomatoes. I am not comfortable being without capers in the fridge and a backup jar in the pantry! ;-) You made some great Diana Henry dishes--that Spanish-baked fish is still on my list to make. Yum!

    Thanks for sharing your salad with Souper Sundays too this week. ;-)

  7. Beautiful tomato and bread salad. We love capers too and I hate it when I think I have something in the pantry and then find out I've already used it all!

  8. this one hits the nail on the head for me bc my family always picks on me that i need bread with every meal. I have always loved the combination of bread and veggies

  9. Hey Joyce... Yeah, u r right.. I stay in Beijing but I shuttle to Hong Kong a lot... Will be more frequent in days to come... I hv been fasting for my third day now.,, and ur dish is not doing my tummy good.. I can literally hear it growling! Hahahaha

  10. I love the little tomatoes, and this salad with the toasted bread looks and sounds delicious Joyce...especially with the anchovies...
    Hope you are having a great week :)

  11. What lovely recipes to farewell Diana Henry! I am a newbie this month and look forward to meeting you!

  12. This is so pretty with all of those different colors of tomatoes. I love a bread salad. This would be like eating a tomato sandwich, only better. :)

  13. You have made some wonderful dishes while we've been cooking with Diana Henry! I've borrowed several of them:) Your spanish salad with the olives looks gorgeous! Loved those asian pork balls. They were delicious right down to the last one:)

  14. My son will go gaga over the tomatoes. :P

    Hope to cook the recipes of Jacques Pepin with you over the next six months. :)

  15. This is a great dish, Joyce, and a wonderful choice for our farewell to Diana. I love the changes you made - I think I would have treated the bread the same way you did - and the anchovy stuffed olives were a great substitute.