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.
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.