1/4 pound fresh green beans (I used about 3/4 pound)
2 slices crusty country Italian bread, about 1-inch thick (I used 3/4 loaf hearty multi-grain "artisan" bread from a local bakery)
1 tablespoon olive oil (I used 1/4 cup)
2 large tomatoes, peeled*, if desired, and cut into 1-inch chunks (I used 5 medium UNpeeled tomatoes)
1 small cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick (I used 1 seedless cucumber, which obviously didn't need to be seeded)
1/2 cup roasted red sweet peppers, cut into bite-size strips (I used 1 cup, or about half of a 16-ounce jar)
1/2 of a small red onion, thinly sliced (I used half of a medium sweet onion)
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved (I used 1 can black olives; kalamata would've been good, I just didn't have them)
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves (I used 1 small clamshell)
Dressing: (I doubled this)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Sea salt and cracked black pepper (optional)
Trim stem end of beans and cut into 2-inch pieces.
In a large saucepan cook beans in lightly salted boiling water for 2 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a bowl of ice water.
When chilled, drain and set aside.
Brush bread slices with 1 tablespoon oil. Toast on a grill or under the broiler until lightly browned, turning once. Cool slightly, then tear bread into 1-inch pieces.
In a large serving bowl combine beans, bread, tomatoes, cucumber, sweet peppers, red onion, olives and basil.
In a small screw-top jar combine the 1/4 cup olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
Cover and shake well to combine.
Pour half of the dressing over tomato mixture; toss gently.
Pour remaining dressing over tomato mixture.
Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
(We were in a hurry to eat, so I didn't bother to let the salad stand for 30 minutes before we ate)!
When ready to serve, toss again. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper, if you like.
Adapted from Midwest Living, August, 2013