The first time I saw someone prepare a bread salad was during the Texas Book Festival a couple of years back. Lynne Rossetto Kasper from The Splendid Table was there to demo a recipe from one of her books, and the whole concept sounded so amazingly delicious that I ran home that very night to make one myself.
Hot, crusty chunks of bread sauted in fat, garlic, and spices, tossed with crisp lettuce and chunky vegetables... What's not to like?
I put a big fat fried egg on top of this because that's how I do. This whole rigamarole could easily be veganized by omitting the butter, egg and cheese. In that case, I'd recommend adding some fat and protein back to the mix by including sliced avocado and some marinated tofu or tempeh. Actually, plain old beans would be great too.