Remove the pumpernickel bread loaf from the bread wrapper and cut 2 to 3 cups of bite-size cubes from the fresh loaf.   Place the bread cubes in a single layer on a pan to get very stale.  It can be stored, uncovered, in a closed microwave or a closed, cold oven.  It will take a couple of days to get the bread stale.


2 to 3 cups bite-size dark pumpernickel bread cubes

1 large sweet red pepper, chopped

2 T. finely chopped green or bell pepper

5 T. finely chopped mild onion

1 large Roma tomato; diced, then lightly salted

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

4 tsp. red wine vinegar

3/4 tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper




Put the stale bread cubes into a large bowl; then add the red and green pepper, onion, tomato, and toss to mix.


In a small bowl using a fork, vigorously beat together the oil, vinegar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until well blended.  Pour the oil and vinegar mixture over the bread cube mixture; then toss several times to blend all ingredients.


Cover and refrigerate for an hour before serving, if possible.


This recipe is close to my father’s salad that he called a Gazpacho Salad.  He always made it with hardtack bread, which was the same type of bread that was used on old sailing ships traveling and exploring the world.   Hardtack loaves were part of a sailing ship’s daily ration for the crew since it was almost indestructible and lasted for years on long sea voyages.


I do not know why my father began making this recipe except that he had found hardtack made in small, almost black loaves being sold to fishermen in a tiny store in the small town of Gulf Breeze, Florida.   He always liked to try exotic recipes, and as far as I know this is an original recipe of his.  It is a little like a homemade salsa with bread cubes in it.  I have not seen any hardtack for many, many years; so I have substituted the stale, dark pumpernickel for the hardtack.  I think it is an unusual and great recipe.  Hope you will also!


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