A Second Life for Dead Bread- Bread Salad


In the world of food, it doesn’t get more basic or humble than bread.  You want to go even a notch further on the humbler spectrum – stale bread. Besides making bread crumbs or feeding the birds, there’s not a lot of roles for stale bread, and given that its likely the least expensive food you’ve bought that week, there is usually little grieving when it’s tossed into the trash.

I have an extreme aversion, however, to throwing out food – even stale bread.  I don’t know where it comes from – its not like I grew up during the Depression. I grew up in the age of Ziploc disposible baggies and single-use Tupperware containers, but I can’t throw food away. (I also wash and re-use the baggies but we can talk about that later….)


So when I was faced with a stale baguette the other day, I had to find a use for it and eating it in its stale form was not an option.  What to do?  Re-hydrate it. With vegetable juices and salad dressing. The end result was a fabulous bread salad with the bread inside rather than outside the bowl.

Here’s how you make it:  Take stale bread and tear it up or chop it up (the less dense the bread, the better – think baguette over pita or bagel as light bread will soak up the liquid more easily), add diced tomato (the best you can find – heirlooms are all around this time of the year), diced cucumber, chunks of fresh mozzarella (the kind that swims in liquid, not the kind that’s been squeezed into a plastic package), diced avocado, finely chopped onion and a sprinkle of dill (fresh or dried is fine – you could also use fresh basil).  Drizzle a homemade vinaigrette over the whole thing, add salt and pepper, wait about 5 minutes (til the bread does some soaking-up – the less stale, the less time required) and you’re ready to eat.  It makes a really substantial meal and you’ll feel good knowing you’ve saved one more baguette from an early demise.

Any more tips for stale bread?  Share ‘em!



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