Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Greek Bread Salad (Panzanella)

Lisa & Aaron invited us to their place for a dinner party last Saturday. Since Lisa is a very good cook, I thought I should make something delicious and tasty but not too complicated for me to follow (I had hungover from the night before) - so I went through Barefoot Contessa recipes online and found this yummy looking Greek Panzanella. This dish has a nice Greek twist with the addition of olives and feta cheese and it's easy to make to.

The menu:

Pre-dinner snack:

Greek Panzanella:

Super-moist Roast Pork Loin:

Farmer's Market roasted baby squash and red potatoes:

Thanks for a lovely dinner, Lisa! Next time, it's our turn to have you guys over for a mellow Saturday night dinner. Or we can just do an all out sushi dinner while we're in Tokyo. =)

Here is the recipe of the Greek Bread Salad from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa... Enjoy!

Good olive oil
1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
Kosher salt
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.

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