2 small field cucumbers or 1 English cucumber, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 slices day-old bread
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a few drops for the pan
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped tomato
juice of 1 limeInstructions
1. If you’re using field cucumbers – usually cheaper than English – peel them to remove the tough skin. (A little leftover peel is not a problem.) For English cucumbers, there’s no need to peel.
2. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of the chopped tomatoes to use in the dressing, but throw the rest of the tomatoes and all of the cucumbers into a large bowl. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper; the salt helps draw out the juices. Toss the vegetables and set aside.
3. Place a small saucepan over medium heat and add a few drops of olive oil. Add the jalapeño and sauté until it sizzles and smells good, about a minute, then add the rest of the chopped tomato and a tablespoon of water. Cook until the tomato juices release, another 2 minutes. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
4. Once the water has evaporated, turn off the heat and dump the jalapeño-tomato mixture on your cutting board. Chop it up very finely, then throw it back into the pan – with the heat off – with the lime juice and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir to combine, taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. You’ve got dressing!
5. Chop or tear the bread into bite-size pieces, then toast it in a skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until the bread chunks are toasty on all sides. Alternatively, just toast full slices of bread in a toaster and tear them up afterward, or skip the toasting if the bread is already super-hard.
6. Add the bread and dressing to the vegetables and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper once more. Let the salad sit for a few minutes so that the bread can soak up the juices, then serve.