1/2 pound day-old chewy farm-style bread, cubed
5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Coarse black pepper
1 1/2 to 2 pounds skirt steaks
4 small vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
8 ounces fresh or smoked mozzarella, cubed
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn or shredded
Preheat a grill pan or outdoor grill to high.
Place the bread in a medium mixing bowl and cover with water. Soak the bread for 3 to 5 minutes.
In a shallow dish, combine about 3 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar with about 2 tablespoons of the EVOO, the rosemary, and a liberal amount of black pepper. Add the steaks to the dish and coat thoroughly, then marinate for 5 to 10 minutes.
After the bread has soaked, working in small batches, remove it in handfuls from the water and wring it out without mashing or tearing it. You do not want wet bread, so wring it carefully, then plate in a salad bowl. Add the tomatoes, onions, mozzarella, and basil. Toss a few times and then dress with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar, about 1/4 cup of the EVOO, salt, and pepper. Adjust the seasonings and let the salad sit for the flavors to come together.
Season the steak with salt and grill the meat for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove the meat and let it rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
Slice the meat very thin on a sharp angle against the grain. Divide the bread salad among 4 serving plates and top with a few slices of the balsamic steak.
Rachael Ray says: "I imagine eating this meal on a farm table, outside, in Tuscany - maybe it's early fall. I have a glass of Rosso di Montalcino. Where will you be for your first bite?" I did not get to make this recipe this year. I have not made it, but it sounds good. The only thing I wouldn't like is the soggy bread. That was in the BLT bread salad from earlier this year and it was too weird. I might just use bread that hasn't been soaked. Maybe I will try this one another day.