Panzanella Salad

3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small French bread , cut into 1 inch cubes ( 6 cups )  I used a Sourdough baguette
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 to 3 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 red onion cut in half and thinly sliced
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained

For the Vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saute pan.  Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned.  Add more oil as needed.

For the vinaigrette, whisk together the ingredients.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers.  Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

Note:  If you are not eating the whole salad in one sitting, add only half the croutons to half of the salad and reserve the rest separately for a second serving.  This will keep the croutons crispy the second time around.
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