My Motto

May the muffin rise to greet you, may your friends be always at your door, and until we meet again, warm a single-malt in the palm of your hand and make something homemade for someone you love.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Greek Panzanella

"To make a good salad is to be a brilliant diplomatist.  The problem is entirely the same in both cases.  To know exactly how much oil to put with one's vinegar." 
~Oscar Wilde

Like most people these days, the recession has touched us and I'm making a concerted effort not to waste anything in the spirit of economy.  Last night I made some grilled garlic ciabatta rolls.  Now, I don't know about you, but when garlic bread is around I have to exert great discipline not to eat it until I explode.  We had a couple rolls leftover last night and this salad came to mind.  About a week ago I caught the Barefoot Contessa throwing one together on the Food Network.   

This is her recipe, but again, in the spirit of thrift, I substituted what I had, rather than run out and purchase more.  For instance, queen olives for calamata and vidalia for red onion.  I also added some fresh chopped parsley and basil since the garden is bursting with them.  Half an hour ago, this was my lunch and HOLY WOW, it was THAT GOOD.  I am prone to jags and am pretty sure a new one has just been launched.  Crunchy garden fresh vegetables, perfectly dressed and packed with flavor.  And that garlic bread I adore?  Re-incarnated in this salad, it was just as good.  This is a great way to use up any leftover baguette or ciabatta, and would travel really well to a picnic. I wouldn't count on leftovers.

Greek Panzanella

1 small French baguette or boule [or leftover garlic ciabatta!] cut into 1-inch cubes
kosher salt
[garlic powder]
1 cucumber, cut into chunks (peeled or unpeeled - your call)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 red onion, sliced in half rounds
1/2 pound feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup calamata olives, pitted
[1/2 cup combined fresh parsley and basil, chopped] optional

For the viniaigrette:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add the bread cubes and sprinkle with salt [and garlic powder].  Cook over medium heat, tossing frequently, for about 5 minutes until nicely browned.

Place the vegetables in a large bowl.

Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients and pour over the vegetables.  Add the feta and bread cubes and mix together lightly.  Set aside for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld and serve at room temperature.
4-6 servings.


Anna Johnston said...

I'm absolutely the same with garlic bread, specially home made dripping with butter & fresh garlic type!!! Love your Greek Panzanella Margaret, it looks & sounds wonderful. Have a great week :)

Mary said...

This is such a lovely salad. I haven't made panzanella in an age, but you've put the bug in my bonnet. I'll have to give your recipe a try. I hope you have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Anna: I find myself making dinners with extra garlic bread on purpose, so that I have an excuse to make this.

@Mary: Haha, I have plenty of your bugs in my bonnet! Enjoy your weekend as well :-)

Athena Ortiz said...

This looks AMAZING! I am making it tomorrow... I wish I had seen this before I went to Whole Foods today, but it deserves a 2nd trip!!!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Athena: Thanks so much! I bet you will be hooked!!! Really happy you found your way to my blog!