I like Rachael Ray. I've liked her since the early Food Network days when she would pour gallons of EVOO in every pan (I guess that hasn't changed), and I'll occasionally watch her daytime talk show. The reason I like her, aside from the breakneck speed with which she whips together 30 minute meals, is that her recipes always give me ideas. I'll often make something of hers once, and then get the idea to change 12 things about it and make a whole new recipe.
This is another great make-ahead recipe. It's eaten cold or at room temperature, and I think it would be a great pot-luck or picnic addition.
Spicy Moroccan Bread Salad
from Rachael Ray
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, grated or very finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 pound loaf of bread, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
salt and pepper
4 ribs celery, chopped
1 cup chickpeas
4 ounces swiss or jarlsberg cheese, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup golden raisins (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic, cumin and salt and pepper. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat.
Scatter bread on a baking sheet and bake until toasted, about 10 minutes. Mix occasionally.
In the same bowl, mix celery, chickpeas, swiss, almonds, vinegar and remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. I didn't have any almonds because someone around here eats them all, so I skipped them. I don't actually love nuts in my food, so it was no big loss. RR always says to leave the celery leaves on because they have great flavor, so I tried to include some. It all depends on how long your celery has been in the fridge.
Add the bread and toss.
Allow to stand for 1 hour.
Please excuse the weird exposure on half my photos today. While I was visiting my parents this weekend, I gave my camera to my Dad to use. He changed all the settings and I don't know what I'm doing, so it took me a while to get them back to what I was using.