Grilled Bread Salad with Grilled Figs

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1 baguette or other long crusty loaf of bread
6 fresh figs, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1 red onion, peeled and diced large
10 basil leaves, cut into long thin strips
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley
2 roasted red peppers, diced large (or use jarred, rinsed peppers)

  1. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients, whisk together well and set aside.
  2. Cut the loaf of bread in half lengthwise, and place on the grill around the edge of a medium-hot fire, where the heat is low, and cook until browned, 5 minutes per side. Don't be impatient-toast the bread slowly on both sides so it dries out and becomes more crusty, which will allow it to absorb some of the dressing without becoming soggy right away. When the bread is well toasted, remove from the grill and cut it into medium-sized chunks. You should have 5 cups.
  3. Meanwhile, place the figs in a small bowl with the oil and salt and pepper to taste and toss well. Place the figs on the grill, cut side down, over the medium-hot fire and cook, turning once or twice, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the toasted bread and grilled figs with the onion, basil, parsley, and roasted red peppers. Stir the dressing well, pour just enough into the bowl to moisten the ingredients, and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper, allow to set about 10 minutes so the bread absorbs some of the dressing, toss again, and serve.
Serves 4 to 6.