Crouton Salad

Things have been busy around here ~ managing my sweet blessings. ;)  But I have missed being in the kitchen. So this weekend, I’ll be duplicating a delicious recipe my friend, Roxann, made a couple weeks ago. This marvelous crouton salad called Greek Panzanella is by Ina Garten, of course.

It’s loaded with all kinds of good stuff: tomatoes, feta, cucumber, and croutons.

And did I mention croutons? They make the salad sooo delicious.

The salad is simple but spectacular. It’s uber flavorful, makes a ton and is served at room temperature. Great for a ladies lunch ~ or a family get together.

Good news is the salad is easy, healthy and the way the croutons co-mingle with the veggies in that vinaigrette, well, you just gotta try it.

Add some grilled chicken and you’ve got a complete meal. Or enjoy alone as a meatless entree. Either way, I think you’ll find this one’s a keeper!


 Greek Panzanella

Olive oil * french bread, cut in 1″ cubes (6 cups) * kosher salt * hothouse cucumber, unpeeled & sliced 1/4″ thick * red & yellow pepper, diced * grape tomatoes, halved * 1/2 red onion, sliced * 1/2 pound feta, 1/2″ cubes * 1/2 cup calamata olives pitted (Roxann omitted)

Vinaigrette: 2 cloves garlic minced * 1 t. dried oregano * 1/2 t Dijon mustard * 1/4 c red wine vinegar * 1 t salt * 1/2 t pepper * 1 c 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, peppers, tomatoes and red onion in a large bowl. For the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, oregano, mustard, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt & 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.

PS. You can find this recipe and my all time favorite dessert ~ in Ina’s book How Easy is That?