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the perfect in-between meal for holiday guests

    Between a fancy brunch spread one day and a traditional Christmas dinner the next, sometimes you just need a light {but tasty} go-to recipe for those in-between meals.

    This one is my very favorite.

    We make this all year long for both lunch and dinner and it is always a crowd pleaser.

    What’s not to love about grilled bread, fresh mozzarella, toasted pine nuts and kalamata olives?!

    This recipe is from Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen and served at one of his famous Seattle restaurants, Dahlia Lounge.

    Tuscan Bread Salad {serves 6}

    for the mustard vinaigrette:
    2 T. red wine vinegar
    1 t. Dijon mustard
    1 t. minced shallots
    1/2 t. chopped fresh thyme
    1/2 t. minced garlic
    1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    salt and pepper

    for the salad:
    1 loaf rustic bread, sliced 1 inch thick
    extra virgin olive oil
    24 oil-cured black olives, pits removed
    1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
    6 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced or cubed
    4 cups loosely packed flavorful salad greens, such as mache, radicchio, arugula, spinach, romaine, endive, washed and dried, torn into bite size pieces
    1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
    1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
    Freshly ground black pepper

    optional: shredded rotisserie chicken

    Make the vinaigrette {I use a mason jar and shake to combine}. It will store in the fridge up to a week.

    Liberally oil the slices of bread then grill on the grill or under the broiler until golden. Use a serrated knife to cut the bread into bite size cubes.

    In a large serving bowl, put the bread in with the olives, tomatoes, mozzarella, parmesan, pine nuts, chicken, basil and greens.  Pour vinaigrette over the salad and mix well.



    13 thoughts on “the perfect in-between meal for holiday guests”

    1. This salad was incredible! I found this recipe on pinterest and made it last night for dinner. I liked it so much I even ate it for a snack later in the night! I made a few adjustments, though. I did not add the bread or olives. I just served focaccia with it. Thanks for sharing a wonderful recipe!

    2. LOVE this! I have made it a few times for different gatherings – small group, dinner at home, dinner with friends- and always get rave reviews! And, of course, everyone always wants the recipe. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

    3. awesome salad! I have been in love with the met market version of this and was looking for a similar recipe. will definitely be making, theirs had tarragon in it too, have you ever added other herbs?

    4. Yummy! This looks delish. I have been making my own croutons for a few years now and I absolutely LOVE them…and so do guests. I like to buy an asiago cheese bread (its very lightly cheesed) and then I cut into little squares. Then I just put them in a frying pan with olive oil and stir them around until they are nice and toasty. I love that you get a little olive oil in each bite too…can’t hurt too much right? I serve mine with cracked black pepper, fresh grated parmesan and Ceasar dressing from Trader Joes. It is SO easy to make but it looks expensive when you serve it because of the homemade croutons. But I am putting this salad on the menu for this week. Thanks!

    5. When I saw this first thing this morning, I knew I’d be making it for dinner tonight! It was wonderful, quite possibly my favorite homemade salad ever! I added a teaspoon of sugar to the dressing. Also, I felt like I needed to apologize to all the other bread that I have ever turned into croutons! :) Oiling and grilling was just so much better! And simple too! So thank you!

    6. Looks delicious! I have loved every single recipe you’ve ever put on your blog. Chicken soup? My go-to dinner now. Ginger cookies? The best I’ve ever made. Keep em’ coming girl. :)

    7. This salad looks delicious, thanks for sharing! I also like the brown floral-motif plates next to the large salad bowl. My grandmother had several sets of dishes and when she passed away, I got her entire Blue Willow collection. It is near and dear to my heart, as I fondly remember MANY wonderful meals served at her table and on that dinnerware. Blessings to you!

      Nicole @ Three 31

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