Greek Panzanella Salad

I am notorious for eating everything but the lettuce in my salad. My husband always looks over at my bowl of naked lettuce left and shakes his head saying, “I don’t know why you ever order salads.” Which…is why THIS salad is perfect for me. My friend Kendee recommended it and said it’s like eating the bottom of the bowl of your favorite salad with bread. I’ve always loved this flavor combination. Literally I couldn’t stop eating it. Tons of fresh veggies and toasted bread are tossed in a really easy vinaigrette. The bread soaks up some of the vinaigrette but still has a crunch. Crouton salad? Uh, ok. Twist my arm.

For me I know when a recipe is really good when I’m already planning to make it for company next time I entertain. My mom, bless her heart, always takes my recipes so literally and will run to the store for a small ingredient to make sure she follows the recipe exactly right. Mom, I’m telling you right now that it’s okay to use crumbled feta instead of cubed if that’s what you have. And if you use a green bell pepper instead of red or yellow, that’s totally fine too. I won’t tell.

Greek Panzanella Salad | The Girl Who Ate EverythingGreek Panzanella Salad | The Girl Who Ate Everything
Some panzanella salad recipes call for stale bread which never made sense to me because then it tastes like…dun, dun, dun….stale bread. Since we’re toasting the bread anyway it doesn’t have to be stale. It will still get that nice crunchy texture.

Greek Panzanella Salad | The Girl Who Ate Everything The key to this salad is to make everything perfectly bite sized; the bread, the veggies, and the feta. Greek Panzanella Salad | The Girl Who Ate Everything   Seriously. Go make this now.Greek Panzanella Salad | The Girl Who Ate Everything

Greek Panzanella Salad

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 red bell pepper, large diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, large diced
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced in half rounds
  • 1/2 pound feta cheese, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup calamata olives, pitted
  • For the vinaigrette:
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil

Instructions

  1. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread cubes and sprinkle with salt; toast bread over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
  2. Place the cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, tomatoes and red onion in a large bowl.
  3. For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, oregano, mustard, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. While still whisking, add the olive oil to emulsify. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables. Add the feta, olives and bread cubes and mix together lightly. Set aside for 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature or cold. If making ahead of time, prepare as directed but wait a little before serving to add the bread so that it doesn't get soggy.

Notes

Source: Ina Garten

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Comments

  1. I think the first time I really heard of panzanella was while I was watching Worst Cooks in America. I’ve been intrigued with it every since but I haven’t tried it yet. I can’t wait to whip this recipe up!

  2. Looks amazing! All of my favorite stuff!!

  3. I love panzanella in the summer time. Please hurry up and end winter!

  4. I need this salad in my life, it looks amazing!!

  5. Ooh, I’m a huge fan of a good panzanella salad. Will definitely be trying this one.

  6. Since my salads are usually 10% lettuce and 90% toppings, this is perfect for me too!

  7. I LOVE panzanella! This Greek twist looks amazing.

  8. My husband, like you, could do without the lettuce in his salads, so this recipe was perfect. This was amazing!! I think we made enough for 8 people but my husband and I ate the entire bowl. Craving it again this morning. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Salad without the lettuce?? DREAM COME TRUE!!! Especially with all those Greek flavors, man you are really speaking my language today Christy.

  10. These are my favorite flavors and this turned out great for me without any modifications. I would definitely recommend this recipe!

  11. This is fantastic–and 10 girls from my dinner party last night will second that motion. I never serve something that I haven’t tried before, but I did it with this recipe last night and was not sorry. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Oh wow! This salad looks amazing, and is definitely going to be enjoyed this week! Salads WITH bread, TWO THUMBS UP! Love sharing your creations with our fans;)

    Big fans,
    Alexi at PicTricks
    http://www.pictricks.com

  13. I made this yesterday for our playgroup and it was a big hit. I made it exactly as written and it was perfect. I’ll leave out the onions in the future because I don’t like raw onions and they didn’t make or break this dish. I did buy a loaf of some kind of garlic roasted crusty bread since my Kroger didn’t have any french and it was delightful, I’m sure any crusty/chewy fresh bread is great. My only concern about this dish is how quickly the bread get’s too wet, so it’s meant to be eaten up right away not saved for later.

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Lisa yes I agreed that you would probably want to add the bread at the last. Glad you loved it. I can eat onions like an apple though so for me they’re a must.