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Italian Bread Salad

with ACE Olive Boule and Lemon Vanilla Vinaigrette

PRO RECIPE Italian Bread Salad with Lemon Vanilla Vinaigrette LR

This bread salad is a twist on the traditional Italian version. The addition of zucchini, olive bread and red peppers add an unexpected lift to the dish, and the lemon vanilla vinaigrette is versatile enough to use on any salad. If you're able, try and find heirloom tomatoes, in various colours and sizes (as you can see in the photograph), as they really add dimension to the recipe. If you can't find heirloom tomatoes, regular tomatoes will work just fine.

Serves: 4 for dinner or 6 to 8 as an appetizer


  • 3 bell peppers (red, orange and yellow)
  • 4 Tbsp (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil (divided to coat the peppers, toss with the zucchini and to coat cast-iron pan)
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced on the bias ¼ inch (0.6 cm) thick
  • ½ of ACE Bakery's Rosemary Olive Oil Boule, cut into ½-inch (1.5-cm) cubes
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 small to medium heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 10 sprigs Italian flat leaf parsley (leaves only)
  • 4 sprigs basil (whole leaves only)
  • shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, to taste or about 2½ oz (70 g)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat barbeque to medium-high heat.
  2. Coat peppers with olive oil and place on barbeque. Roast over medium-high heat, turning occasionally until skin is black and peeling. Remove from grill and allow to sit in a bowl covered in plastic wrap for 15 minutes.
  3. Toss zucchini in olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place on barbeque. Grill until softened and golden brown, turning occasionally.
  4. Peel peppers, remove core and seeds, and slice into thin strips.
  5. Preheat heavy bottomed or cast-iron pan to medium-high heat, until it just begins to smoke. Add olive oil, wait 30 seconds, then add bread cubes. Stir to coat bread and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until golden brown, stirring frequently. Set aside.
  6. Mix cooked vegetables and all remaining ingredients together with the vinaigrette and plate.

Lemon Vanilla Vinaigrette:

  • 2⅔ Tbsp (40 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 Tbsp (60 mL) ACE Bakery Ice-Pressed Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

        7. Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk vigorously until well- combined.
        8. Store in refrigerator until use.

Cook's Tip

  • Turn this gorgeous salad into a main course by adding a grilled chicken breast.

This recipe is from ACE Bakery.