A delicious bite of summer! Fresh and fast and colorful, and best of all, simple! I think it’s also rather elegant. Its especially delightful if served immediately or within about ten minutes of assembling. The bread has crunch left, but it’s had it’s chance to court and then marry the dressing. They fall in love and it’s delicious! Full disclosure: I was very much inspired by Ina Garten’s panzanella recipe found in her book Barefoot Contessa: Parties. But I luurve the Greek spin on this salad!
You will need:
- 2 large tomatoes (or 4 medium) seeds and insides removed
- 1 hothouse cucumber, quartered
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 3/4 cup kalamata olives
- 8 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- 6 cups cubed rustic bread
- 4 Tbs olive oil
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 Tbs white wine vinegar
- 1 Tbs dijon mustard
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper
For the love, use a big mixing bowl to mix these gorgeous ingredients together! It’s a big boy, and if you don’t have a big enough vessel, you’ll end up with panzanella on your counter, and you don’t need that stress your life, mmmmkay?
Make the salad: Start by cutting approximately half a baguette into cubes, about 6 cups. Drizzle a skillet with 4 TBS of olive oil, and add bread cubes. Toss to coat and toast, on medium-high heat on the stovetop, adding more olive oil as desired. Stir every few minutes so bread gets toasty on all sides!
As bread is toasting, make the salad. Remove insides and seeds from tomatoes and cut into chunks. Quarter cucumber, and chop bell peppers into chunks as well. Cut olives in half or leave them whole, it’s up to you! Toss those veggies together in your big ol’ bowl, and gently stir in feta.
For the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. Pour all over the vegetable mixture. Stir in the warm breadcubes and serve ASAP! Warm bread, cool veggies, tangy dressing, briny olives…just delish!