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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Greek Bread Salad

 We love this salad. I know bread in a salad? It really works though. You do need a good sturdy bread, one with a dense chewy bite. (We love the roasted garlic bread from the COSTCO here.) This is one of the few recipes that I make as written. It is the Barefoot Contessa's Greek Panzanella. Follow the link for the complete recipe.

Good olive oil
1 small French bread or boule
Kosher salt
1 hothouse cucumber
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 red onion
1/2 pound feta cheese
1/2 cup calamata olives, pitted

You can adjust the amounts of the vegetables to suit your families taste and what you have on hand. Even though the recipe calls for 6 cups of cubed bread, I always make more.  There is taste testing while they are being toasted, of course - Usually by everyone in the house. It also seems to be the favorite ingredient in the salad, so leftovers have very little bread.

For the vinaigrette:
2 cloves garlic
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

The dressing is pretty garlicky, which we love. You can use one clove if you don't want it to be so strong. Dijon mustard in the dressing may sound a little odd, but don't leave it out. Mustard helps emulsify the dressing (keeps it from separating).
You do need to plan ahead a little, since the salad should sit at room temperature for about half an hour to blend the flavors.
 This is great with grilled meats.

I did make the salad without the bread at first. I took some of the vegetables (that I cut smaller) and dressing and mixed them with quinoa (a bargain at COSTCO) for our daughter who is on a gluten free diet.

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