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With this classic Italian salad, you can show kids that bread can show up in all kinds of roles in the kitchen. It also makes an excellent seasonal showcase through the summer, and could give you a chance to talk about Tuscany, where this showstopper originated.

Little Sous Bread Box © Lauren V. Allen
Little Sous Bread Box © Lauren V. Allen


  • ½ loaf of day-old French bread or ciabatta, cubed or torn into bite-sized pieces
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus 1 extra tablespoon)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 English seedless cucumber, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 12 large basil leaves, torn into pieces


  1. Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. If you have stale bread, set it aside. If you have fresh bread, toast the bread cubes on a cookie sheet until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes.

    Sous Tip:

    Ripping up bread is basically the best kid job ever.

  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the corn and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until heated through. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

  3. Step 3

    Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, and corn to the bowl.

  4. Step 4

    In a small bowl, mix together ⅓ cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Step 5

    Toss the dressing with the bread cubes and veggies in the bowl. Add the optional shallot, if you like shallots. Let the mixture sit for 20 to 30 minutes, allowing the dressing to soften the bread. Toss the ingredients a few times.

  6. Step 6

    Halve the avocado and cut into cubes or slices. Divide the salad among plates and top each with some avocado and basil.