1/2 loaf day-old dried baguette (see here) or other hard bread (about 6 oz.)
3 tomatoes (about 1 lb.)
1/4 red onion
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded
1 English cucumber
10 fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. red-wine vinegar
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
Cut tomatoes into large chunks, thinly slice onion, cut seeded yellow bell pepper into 1 inch cubes, seed and slice cucumber into 1/2 inch thick slices, and cut basil leaves into 1/4 inch thick ribbon. Set aside.
Place the bread whole in a large bowl with water (not included in the ingredients) and soak for 2 minutes per side. (Skip this process if using fresh bread.)
Squeeze out water from soaked bread, cut into 1 inch cubes or tear into bite-size pieces.
In a large bowl, whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients.
Add bread and all other ingredients from step 1 into the vinaigrette bowl and toss to coat well, then leave at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Serve at room temperature or chilled. This recipe may be made up to a day in advance, but refrigerate after leaving at room temperature for 30 minutes.