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Cuban Bread Salad


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Cuban Bread Salad


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Cuban Bread Salad


  • Ready Time : 0 min



  • Orange Sherry Vinaigrette
  • 1/2 c. fresh orange juice
  • Pinch of kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/4 c. sherry vinegar
  • 1 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. toasted, freshly ground cumin, to taste
  • 1 tsp. toasted, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 c. loosely packed California raisins
  • Bread Salad
  • 2 tbsp. Spanish olive oil
  • 4 slc. Cuban bread or other crusty, rustic bread
  • 1/4 c. coarsely chopped, mixed, fresh herbs, e.g., sage, basil, rosemary and/or thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 small tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. goat cheese
  • 2 medium tomatoes; ends removed, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • 4 c. mixed greens, e.g., romaine, red leaf, radicchio, Bibb and/or Belgian endive



1 Pour orange juice into a small heavy saucepan. Set over medium heat and reduce by half to 1/4 cup. Remove from heat;. turn into medium bowl and whisk together with salt and vinegar.
2 Continue whisking and add olive oil, cumin and pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste. Measure raisins into a small bowl and add vinaigrette to cover; set aside. Reserve remaining vinaigrette.
Bread Salad
1 Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Sauté bread on both sides until golden. Remove from pan. Drain raisins and place in a large bowl.
2 Add greens, herbs and reserved vinaigrette, 1/4 cup at a time, tossing gently until mixed.
To Serve
1 Combine goat cheese, chives, salt and pepper to taste. Remove tops from small tomatoes; hollow out seeds, and fill with cheese mixture.
2 Arrange tomato slices in center of each serving plate; top with a slice of bread and about 1 cup of salad. Place a filled tomato on the side and garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.

Source: Chef Norman Van Aken and California Raisin Marketing Board

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4 Responses to Cuban Bread Salad

  1. This sounds like a great recipe – I love bread and salad together. I’ve never seen cuban bread that was kosher though – it usually contains lard so I will have to substitute some other bread.

  2. I have found Cuban bread kosher (although maybe not authentic), but another bread will work well too. Enjoy.

  3. avatar says: Lirit

    The difference between kosher and non-kosher bread is vegetable shortening substituted for the lard. A lot of people will say this makes it non-traditional, but the question is really whose traditions we’re trying to mimic. Before 1959, Cuba’s Jewish population was large and vibrant (and the remaining population has again started flourishing since 1994) – so it stands to reason that a lot of “traditional” Cuban recipes were adapted for the kosher home. It stands to reason that this would include bread.

    And if you already make your own challah, Cuban bread is just as easy to make. And besides, if you live north of Tampa, FL you really can’t find a decent Cuban loaf commercially anyway.

    My recipe is: 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
    2 teaspoons sugar
    1 1/4 cups warm water
    2 cups bread flour
    2 cups all purpose flour
    2 teaspoons salt
    1/4 cup shortening, melted
    Warm salt water, to brush on loaves before baking

    Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/4c warm water until it gets all foamy. Melt the shortening, either on low heat on a burner or in a pyrex dish in the microwave for a minute.

    If you have a mixer with a dough hook, I’m jealous. You can now toss the foamy sponge in there. If not, a big bowl will do just fine. Add the remaining cup of warm water and salt to it and mix it until blended.

    Sift your two flours together. (I usually alternate, measure and sift one cup of bread flour, then measure and sift one cup of AP flour, and then back to the bread flour and then again to the AP flour.) Now slowly add the flour, little by little, to your wet ingredients, mixing as constantly as you can. Again, if you have a mixer, I’m insanely jealous. Alternate the flour addition with the melted shortening, until all of the shortening is added. Continue adding the flour until your dough is smoth, pliable, and kind of elastic. Too much flour makes a bread that’s dense, and Cuban bread shouldn’t be dense. (Depending on the humidity level, you’ll probably use a bit more than 3cups of the flour at this point. Any remaining flour should be saved for rolling out and kneading the dough.)

    Again, I must stress my intense jealousy of anyone with a mixer and dough hook. Because here’s where they get to wow you. Otherwise, you’re doing it the old fashioned way, but let me tell you, I’m great company. It’s a fairly sticky dough, so turn it out on a floured surface, and it usually takes me about 10 minutes to pound and knead it to where I like it to be.

    Shape the dough into a ball (yes it’s a little sticky, but you can do it!) and place it into a greased bowl, flipping it over a few times to coat the dough with the grease as well. Cover it with a damp cloth and put somewhere warm. About 45minutes to an hour later, it will have doubled in size, which is exactly what you want it to do.

    Now, turn it out onto a floured board, and roll it out as large as you want it to be. I usually lay the loaf diagonally on a large baking sheet – I have no idea how long it actually is, I just eyeball it. When you’ve got a good sized rectangle, roll the dough up on the long end into a tight cylinder. Using wet fingers, pinch the flap into the loaf, making a seam. Lightly grease your baking sheet and sprinkle it with a little bit of cornmeal so the loaf can move easily, and place it down diagonally, seam side down. Dust the top with a little extra flour and cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise again until it’s doubled in size.

    Preheat oven to 450º F. Place a pan of water on the lowest rack of the oven.

    Use a sharp knife to cut a shallow seam down the middle of the loaf. Brush it with warm salt water (I usually add just enough sea salt to the water to make it smell like the ocean. You can use plain water too, but I like it this way.) Bake it for 5 minutes and then brush more water on top of the bread. Bake until it’s a pale brown and crusty – about 12-18 minutes total, though your mileage may vary depending on your oven. And voila! Yummy Cuban bread for an amazing cuban bread panzanella, or just for cuban toast dunked in cuban coffee which is truly one of life’s greatest little pleasures…

    • Thank you so much for sharing this recipe – it would be great if you could post as a recipe that can be searched. On the bottom right side bar just click Submit a Recipe.

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