I needed something to cut through the cold, wet and generally unpleasant winter, so I decided to make a Panzanella (Bread Salad). They are so delicious and fresh and springy! Here’s the recipe, from Ina Garten.
- olive oil
- 1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups) (I used sourdough and it was perfect)
- Kosher salt
- 1 english cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1 red bell pepper, large diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, large diced
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced in half rounds
- 1/2 pound feta cheese, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup calamata olives, pitted (optional, I don’t like olives so I left them out)
For the vinaigrette:
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup good red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup good olive oil
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.
Place the cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, tomatoes and red onion in a large bowl.
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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