Panzanella

This is such a great side dish to bring to a party, and you can prepare it ahead of time by just keeping the bread separate from the rest.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Greece
Keyword: Croutons
Servings: 6

Ingredients

For the Croutons

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 small loaf crusty bread, cut into bite-sized pieces

For the Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 dried oregano

For the Salad

  • 1 English cucumber, halved, seeded, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 lb feta cheese, cut into bite sized pieces
  • salt

Instructions

For the Croutons

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Heat a large saute pan over moderate heat.
  • Add 1/8 c. of the butter and cook until it foams and then turns clear and brown in color. Add half of the bread pieces and toss with the browned butter.
  • Transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining butter and bread pieces.
  • Arrange the bread on the baking sheet in a single layer, then bake 10-15 minutes, or until the bread is golden and crispy on the outside but still soft in the center. Let cool.

For the salad

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, olive oil, pepper, garlic, and dried oregano.
  • Combine the cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, onion, and olives in a large bowl.
  • Pour the vinaigrette over the top and toss to coat.
  • Once the bread has cooled, fold the croutons along with the feta cheese into the salad mixture. Let sit 15 minutes so the croutons can absorb some of the dressing. Enjoy!

Photo credit and inspiration: thewanderlustkitchen