This is a simple, classic Italian salad. A mix of delicious, ripe, late summer tomatoes and day-old bread, be sure to use bread that is on the dry side to soak up all the... tomato juices. We like to use whole wheat bread for added fiber, but sourdough, miche, or a country-style bread will work as well. The same goes for the tomatoes. Indulge in this salad when field and sweet heirloom tomatoes are at their best.
In a small bowl cover the sliced shallots with boiling water. Let sit for 15 minutes, then drain.
Dice the whole wheat bread into ½-inch pieces. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the whole garlic cloves, salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking tray and toast in the oven, turning occasionally, until slightly golden, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Remove the garlic from the skins and chop into a paste.
Meanwhile, in the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, lemon zest, juice and salt and pepper. Stir in the olives, basil, tomatoes and garlic paste.
Just before serving, toss the tomato mixture with the toasted bread and arugula. Taste for seasonings. Serve at room temperature.
Toasting the bread in the oven in step 3 is also a great way to make low fat croutons.