I love, love, love this salad. With lovely fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and basil bursting with flavor in the garden (or the farmer's market, which is where I am now) it tastes wonderfully of summer. It is the pasta salad with bread instead. I am going to give the ingredients with the amounts up to you. Sometimes I make this small for two. I will give you a dressing but if you have a good Italian dressing you like, it will work.
You want at least half bread. Cube some crusty artisan bread into bite size pieces. Pour a little olive oil in the bottom of a cookie sheet and grate some garlic onto it. Toss your bread cubes in the oil and garlic and put into a 350 oven for 10-15 minutes or so until the edges start to brown but don't get it too hard.
Sometimes I stir fry a little cubed yellow squash or zucchini for 2 minutes. I don't mind the raw zucchini but I like the yellow squash cooked a little. Cut up some English cucumbers, lots of tomatoes in larger bite size pieces. You can use cherry tomatoes but cut in half. I like the juice of the tomatoes to penetrate the bread. Toss in a little Parmesan cheese. Cut up some soft Mozzarella cheese in big bites. (thank you Costco) Slice a good amount of Basil in generous slices, (not chopped) Toss it all together with some Italian dressing. It is fine sitting for awhile or even the next day.
I like this dressing on it. I dry my own tomatoes. Nothing compares commercially. I bought one of those round portable dryers just to dry tomatoes, mostly for a bread dip I make. They can even be dried in the oven on a very low temperature. Then I double bag them and put them in the freezer until I want them. They stay good there for a long time.
SUN DRIED TOMATO AND BASIL DRESSING
Put 1 T. olive oil in a small frying pan and finely grate 2 cloves of garlic into it and stir fry until it just starts to brown . Remove to a blender. Add 3/4 C. olive oil, 1/3 C. wine vinegar,1 small Roma tomato peeled, seeded (seeds removed) or 3 T. dried tomatoes (If you use the dried tomatoes add 2 T. water) , 1 tsp. sugar, and 1/4 C. fresh basil leaves, 1/2 tsp. salt and generous grates of fresh pepper. Blend for 30 seconds.