Tomato, Celery, and Toasted Bread Salad

Soaking the onion takes away its bite and pulls its sweetness to the forefront. Recipe adapted from A Bird in the Oven by Mindy Fox (Kyle Books; 2010).


  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced

  • 5 ounces rustic bread, torn into ¾-inch pieces (about 4 cups)

  • 2 pints (10 ounces each) grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

  • Fine salt

  • 1 small garlic clove

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

  • ½ English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced crosswise

  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves (from 1 bunch)

  • ½ cup fresh parsley leaves

  • 2 tablespoons salt-packed capers, rinsed, soaked in cold water, rinsed again, and minced


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, cover onion with cold water. Swish water around, rubbing onion slices with your hand. Drain and repeat 2 or 3 times, letting slices soak and changing water every 10 minutes. Drain onion; pat dry. Arrange bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until edges are crisp and golden, 6 minutes. Let cool completely on sheet on a wire rack; transfer to a large bowl. Add tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt; let sit 10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, finely chop garlic with a generous pinch of salt. Drag the blade of a large knife at an angle across mixture until a paste forms. Transfer to a small bowl and whisk in oil and vinegar. To tomato mixture, add onion, cucumber, celery, radishes, basil, parsley, capers, and dressing; toss to combine. To serve, season with salt and pepper and toss.

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