Greek Panzanella Salad

I’ve never been a big fan of salad, but I have a few guesses why: First, I keep my leafy salads pretty bare – no dressing, no fancy extras, nothing at all. Second, I’m too busy focusing on the warm, fragrant main course instead of poking at the leaves on my plate. And third, well, I’ve never made any interesting variations of salad until now.

This panzanella is a truly refreshing treat in terms of salads and side dishes, and I think you would agree. It may have an unfamiliar name, but there are only familiar flavors in this Greek dish, such as fresh cucumbers, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, black olives, and a super scrumptious red wine vinaigrette that is a cinch to make!

All you need to do is chop the vegetables and cube some day-old French bread. Then, saute the bread in a large pan with some olive oil and coarse salt until the cubes are nice and golden. Meanwhile, make your vinaigrette and keep an eye on the bread. When it’s done, toss those gorgeous browned bread cubes with the veggies, vinaigrette, and some creamy feta cheese. Give it a stir, and you have a colorful and incredibly yummy side dish!

My husband and I didn’t expect to love this salad as much as we did, but it was a absolutely delicious accompaniment to some roasted salmon topped with basil pesto. I really hope you try it sometime, because I know you’ll love it too!

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Greek Panzanella Salad

Yield: Makes 5-6 servings

Ingredients:

For the salad:
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 cups French bread cubes (1 inch)
Kosher salt
1 cucumber, peeled, halved and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, large diced
1 yellow bell pepper, large diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
½ red onion, sliced thin
4-6 oz. crumbled feta cheese
2.5 oz. can sliced black olives, drained (kalamatas would also be good if you like that sort of thing)

For the vinaigrette:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1¼ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

Directions:

To prepare the salad, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the bread cubes and sprinkle with salt; cook over medium heat, tossing frequently, for 5-10 minutes, until nicely browned. Remove from the heat.

Combine the cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onion in a large bowl.

To make the vinaigrette, combine the garlic, oregano, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil to create an emulsion. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables. Add the feta, olives, and bread cubes. Mix together lightly. Set aside for 30 minutes to let the flavors blend.

Enjoy!

Adapted from Ina Garten

      

16 Responses to “Greek Panzanella Salad”

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    jd of veggieterrain — January 10, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

    Ack – I forgot to leave a link to my blog in my previous comment! Sorry!

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    Katrina — January 10, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

    Great salad recipe. I love the bread cubes in it!

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    Avril — January 10, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

    I just adore Panzanella salad! – your Greek Panzanella salad looks out of the world d’lish! I look forward to making it myself. Thank you so much!

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    enrolled agent cpe — January 10, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

    As I am starting on my quest to change my lifestyle and start eating healthy, I think your Panzanella recipe will be great for my kick off. I’m not a big salad fan, probably would just have a few bites on some occasions but the fusion of colors and the ingredients on this one made me curious and I would love to try it out.

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    Deborah — January 10, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

    I have actually never had a panzanella salad, but I know I’d love it because I love bread and I love salad!!

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    Dimah — January 10, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

    The salad looks really tasty and healthy too!

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    Angie's Recipes — January 10, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

    What a beautiful and delicious salad! Yours look seriously pleasant and delicious!

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    Magic of Spice — January 10, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

    Panzanella is such a great salad and yours looks amazing…Love that first pic, the bowl would be on my lap with fork in hand :)

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    jd of veggieterrain — January 10, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

    Ooo… I love panzanella salad, and yours looks gorgeous!

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    Pretty. Good. Food. — January 10, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

    Sounds delicious :)!

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    Baking Serendipity — January 10, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

    This looks delicious! My husband and I always love salads full of good ingredients like this one, but never make them enough. Holding onto this recipe for sure :) Thank you!

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    Cristina — January 10, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

    Oh yes! Feta cheese in this salad :) This is meal in of itself and all the complimentary ingredients. Gorgeous salad with the beautiful & colorful veggies and luv that there is bread cubes in it. This will be a hit at my table!

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    Betty @ Scrambled hen fruit — January 10, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

    Since my favorite part of a salad is the croutons, I’m pretty sure I’d be all over this one. :) It looks chunky and fabulous!

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    newlywed — January 10, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

    I love bread salads! I used to make us a Moroccan bread salad years ago…I’ll have to dig that recipe up.

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    Monet — January 10, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

    I wish I could come over to your house for dinner! This sounds (and looks) amazing! I’m not a big salad girl either…but salad made with bread? That I can certainly do! We always have bread around my place, and I’m always looking for new and inventive ways to use it. Thank you for sharing this with us!

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    Pam — January 10, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

    I wish I was having this for dinner tonight! It looks excellent.

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