I LOVE this salad!! I mean, whats not to love? A salad thats almost 1/2 bread...that's my kind of salad. Not to mention all my other favorite things, soft mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and roasted asparagus....yes please.
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling.
2 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 lb asparagus
3/4 of a loaf of crusty bread, cut into one inch cubes.
1/4 red onion, finely diced
6 ounces of soft mozzarella, cut into bite sized pieces ( I used the small balls of soft mozzarella and cut them in half)
12 ounces of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
18 fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
salt and pepper
preheat the oven to 450 roast
1) Trim the woody ends off of your asparagus. Cut the remaining asparagus into thirds on a diagonal. If the asparagus is thin don't worry about cutting them diagonally. Place cut asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast until tender and hopefully a bit charred.....but, you don't want them soggy so take them out when they are tender but still have a bit of a snap. About 5-8 minutes. Remove them from the pan and let them cool.
2) Place your cubed bread on the same baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss until well coated and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place pan in oven and bake until toasted about 5 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through to make sure all sides get toasted. Set aside.
3) In a large bowl, add the asparagus, cheese, tomatoes, red onions, basil and toasted bread. Drizzle with 1/2 the olive oil and 1/2 of the vinegar....toss, and then add the rest of the vinegar and oil. Mix well and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!