School is back in session (and so is football!), but we are hanging on to the last days of summer the best way we know how - with a recipe that's full of our fave late-summer produce, and requires no actual cooking.
This salad is a Greek version of Panzanella (also known as bread salad) from our gal Ina Garten, and is full of color and flavor. Make a double recipe of the simple vinaigrette to stash in your fridge and add to salads at a moment’s notice (doubles as a great dip for crusty bread).
(courtesy of Ina Garten & Food Network)
Good olive oil
1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
1 hothouse 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
1/2 red onion, sliced in half rounds
1/2 pound feta cheese, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup calamata olives, pitted
For the vinaigrette:
2 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.
Add this salad to your holiday weekend menu, or enjoy as long as you can get your hands on that summer veggie goodness!