For the Salad:
About 5 thick slices day-old country-style bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 7 cups)
3 large ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
For the Vinaigrette:
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspon Spanish or Hungarian sweet paprika
2 tablespoons aged sherry vinegar (or red-wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
For the Shrimp:
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp in the shell or about 42 frozen, cleaned large shrimp, defrosted
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, cut in a chiffonade
FOR THE SALAD: Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until they’ve dried out and turned golden brown, 14 to 18 minutes. Remove them from the oven. When cool, combine the bread with the tomatoes in a large bowl. Set aside.
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE: Set a small, heavy skillet over low heat with 6 tablespoons of the olive oil and the chopped garlic. Cook, stirring or shaking the pan frequently, until the garlic turns a pale gold, 6 to 7 minutes. Bear in mind that the garlic will continue to cook from the retained heat of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the paprika, vinegar, and lemon juice. Season well with salt and pepper. Pour half of the mixture (about 1/4 cup) over the bread and tomatoes. Stir well to combine and set the remaining vinaigrette aside.
FOR THE SHRIMP: If using shrimp in the shell, peel and devein them. If using cleaned, defrosted shrimp, skip this step. Either way, dry the shrimp well with paper towels and set aside. Set a large skillet over high heat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and saute, stirring occasionally, until they’re just cooked through and opaque, 3 to 4 minutes; cut one in half to check. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the remaining garlic vinaigrette to the pan, stir with the shrimp, taste, and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
Add the shrimp, thyme leaves, and basil to the bread and tomatoes. Toss and serve immediately.
Active Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes
Yield: 4 Servings