Nick Malgieri
Nick Malgieri

Aeolischer Brotsalat:  Bread Salad from the Aeolian Islands

Adapted from Bottega Berta in Zurich

Chris Eckstien’s Bottega Berta is one of Zurich’s best Italian restaurants, featuring traditional and contemporary Italian specialties.  The adaptation of a Sicilian bread salad is one of the most popular appetizers on his menu.

Makes 4 appetizer servings

500 grams/18 ounces ciabatta-style bread, cut into 1-inch dice

1/3 cup warm water

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

500 grams/18 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, rinsed and halved

5 ounces/about 1 cup caperberries

1/2 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 cup pitted green olives, preferably Sicilian

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Fresh oregano leaves

  1. Let the bread cubes dry for a day at room temperature, or bake them in a slow oven until crisp and dry.
  2. When you’re ready to make the salad, heat the water, mix the vinegar with it, and toss with the bread in a large bowl. Leave to soak for a few minutes.
  3. Fold in the tomatoes, caperberries, onion, and olive.  Sprinkle with the salt and pepper, oil, and oregano and fold together.
  4. Let the salad mellow for 10 more minutes before serving.