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Greek Panzanella

by flavorthemoments on June 24, 2013

greek panzanella

greek panzanella

I feel like I’ve been keeping a really big secret from you, so I’m attempting to make amends now by introducing you to one of my favorite salads.  Say hello to the Greek Panzanella! :smile:  I almost feel bad that it’s taken me this long to share it, as I make it often for all types of gatherings.  This is that salad…the one that comes to mind when you need to bring a side dish for a gathering or make one for a dinner you’re hosting.  It’s fresh and special, and it keeps well as there’s no lettuce that’s going to wilt down on you.  While the fresh cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, feta cheese, and kalamata olives are all special together in my book, it’s the homemade croutons mixed in with all of this vegetable goodness, soaking up a homemade Greek vinaigrette that sets it apart.  Is your mouth watering?  Mine is.  :wink:

greek panzanella

As I’ve said, I make this Greek Panzanella a lot.  The only reason I haven’t shared it sooner is that I normally make it when I’m entertaining or when I bring it to a gathering, so it’s hard to snap my photos.  I took it to a Father’s Day barbecue this year, and I actually brought my camera so I could take the pictures.  People probably think I’m crazy.  I kind of am.  :lol:

greek panzanella

I haven’t found anyone that doesn’t enjoy this salad, minus a few picky kids.  The best part about it is you can prep the vegetables, and make the croutons and the dressing ahead of time.  Simply keep the vegetables in the fridge until about an hour before serving time.  Add the feta cheese, croutons, and the dressing, stir well, and let the salad sit out at room temperature.  How many salads can you say that about?  No wilted lettuce = no last minute salad prep.  That’s worth it’s weight in gold if you ask me!  :smile:

greek panzanella

Next time you’re entertaining or asked to bring a salad somewhere, give this one a try.  You can impress a few people who’ve never tried panzanella, or bread salad.  You can always use store bought dressing or croutons to save time, but I highly suggest trying it homemade first.  If you do, I’d venture a guess that you’ll go homemade right there on spot and never look back.  It’s that good! :smile:

greek panzanella

Greek Panzanella

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: Serves 8-12

Greek Panzanella

Greek Panzanella is packed with fresh vegetables, kalamata olives, and feta cheese, with homemade croutons and Greek vinaigrette. Perfect for barbecues, holidays, and entertaining.

Ingredients

Croutons:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

4 ounces baguette or French bread, cubed (mini loaves are perfect, or use about 1/3 of a large loaf)

Salad:

16 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

1 medium cucumber, chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup kalamata olives, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup red onion, thinly sliced

6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Greek Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

Prepare the croutons:

In a large saute pan, heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium to medium high heat. Add the bread cubes, and stir to coat in the oil. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy. Place in a bowl and set aside.

Prepare the salad:

Place the vegetables, kalamata olives, and feta cheese in a large serving bowl. Set aside.

Prepare the Greek vinaigrette:

Place the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, oregano, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking constantly until emulsified and all of the oil has been added.

One hour prior to serving, add the croutons and vinaigrette to the vegetables and stir until combined. Let the salad stand at room temperature. Salad is best when eaten the same day. Enjoy!

Notes

The salad can be made ahead of time by prepping the vegetables and placing them in an air tight container covered with plastic wrap. One hour before serving, remove from the refrigerator and add the feta cheese, croutons, and dressing. Stir and let stand at room temperature.

Recipe inspired by Barefoot Contessa's Greek Panzanella.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies June 25, 2013 at 5:04 am

This sounds pretty tasty! I love Greek salads and croutons even more, so a salad focusing on courtons sounds amazing.

Reply

flavorthemoments June 25, 2013 at 7:36 am

The croutons taste so great after soaking up all these flavors. Sounds like you would love it!

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Liz June 25, 2013 at 10:55 am

This looks like the perfect recipe to me….what a great idea to add bread to a salad. I’ve never made it before! Pinning and saving for my next BBQ!

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flavorthemoments June 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Thanks, Liz! I hope you enjoy it!

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar June 25, 2013 at 2:46 pm

This sounds so lovely!!! Awesome salad :)

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flavorthemoments June 25, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Thank you, Katrina! It’s one of my favorites.

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Anne ~ Uni Homemaker June 26, 2013 at 4:03 pm

I love panzanella salad! I usually have mine with basil, onions and tomatoes. Love the Greek version of this. Sounds delicious!

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flavorthemoments June 26, 2013 at 4:33 pm

I’ll eat any kind of panzanella! Thanks, Anne!

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Jocelyn@BruCrew Life June 26, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I’m sure people think I’m crazy always taking pics of my food too!! Lol! This salad looks great! I’ll have to remember it next time I’m stuck for a good side dish.

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flavorthemoments June 26, 2013 at 8:45 pm

You can’t go wrong with a salad with bread in it!

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Nicole@HeatOvenTo350 June 28, 2013 at 9:58 am

I love that you brought your camera to take pictures of this. I understand the insanity completely. I can see why this is a favorite. It looks delicious and I love all the colors in it.

Reply

flavorthemoments June 28, 2013 at 10:23 am

I felt kind of nuts taking the pictures and felt a bit rushed, but we do what we gotta do! Thx for understanding!

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