Note: Use the best-tasting tomatoes you can find, whether they're heirlooms, cherry tomatoes or any other type.
1/3 pound stale ciabatta, or other artisan-style bread
1 pound tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black
3 tablespoons red wine
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup diced red onion
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
3 ounces arugula (about 5 or 6 good handfuls)
1. Tear the ciabatta
into rough pieces and put it in a bowl with water to cover. Soak for at least 15 minutes.
2. Cut cherry tomatoes
in halves or quarters, depending on their size. Cut heirloom or other large tomatoes into three-quarter-inch slices, then cut the slices into quarters. Place them in a bowl and season with the salt, pepper, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Set aside for at least 15 minutes to allow the salt to pull some of the juice from the tomatoes.
3. Pull the bread
from the bowl a handful at a time and squeeze out as much water as you can. Crumble the bread into a serving bowl. Stir the tomato mixture into the bread, working the mixture to moisten as much of the bread as possible with the liquid from the tomatoes. Stir in the red onion. (The recipe can be prepared to this point up to 8 hours ahead and refrigerated, tightly covered.)
4. When ready to serve,
remove the bread salad from the refrigerator and taste it. You may need to add more salt or more vinegar. Add the pine nuts and arugula to the bread salad and toss lightly to mix thoroughly. Serve immediately.