Saturday, March 20, 2010

Greek Panzanella Salad

One day while planning dinner for the night, I decided to take a trip to Greece.  Kevin and I will be going to Greece next year on vacation.  I saw Ina Garten make this Greek version of an Italian Classic.  The dressing was spot on.  We had a mild lemon chicken breast along with the salad.

Greek Panzanella Salad
Good olive oil

1 small French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
Kosher salt
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced ¼ -inch thick
1 red bell pepper, large diced
1 yellow bell pepper, large diced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
½ red onion, sliced in half rounds
½ pound feta cheese, cut in ½ -inch cubes
½ cup calamata olives, pitted

For the vinaigrette:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup good red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup good olive oil

1. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread cubes and sprinkle with salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes, until nicely browned. Add more olive oil as needed.
2. Place the cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, tomatoes and red onion in a large bowl.
3. For the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, oregano, mustard, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper in a small bowl. While still whisking, add the olive oil and make an emulsion. 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.

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