Greek Panzanella Salad combines traditional Greek salad flavors, like Kalamata olives, and tangy feta with bread cubes toasted in tasty garlicky vinaigrette.
Greek Panzanella Salad was on my ‘to do list’ for quite a while. I love the idea of adding bread to salads, as it converts them into a full side dish. You don’t really need much more. Some fish or meat from the grill, greek panznalla salad and presto…dinner is ready.
Greek salad is absolute all-time favorite of mine. Cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers, kalamata olives and feta, toasted with a red wine vinegar and dried oregano, simply screams summer to me. I traveled a lot in the first 1/2 of my life and the moment I landed in Greece I needed to have my fix of Greek Salad. So, just the smell of it now brings me back to the summers in beautiful Greece.
I was very fortunate to live in Central Europe with close proximity to such wonderful countries like Greece, Spain and Italy. To make them even more accessible, during law school, a student organization was able to organize the summer camps abroad which were extremely affordable. That’s how I was able to visit and return to all of these amazing countries for literally pennies. Now, when travel from US to Europe is so expensive, I make myself Greek Salad and my tastes buds taking me right back.
Adding bread to salads in Mediterranean cuisines is very popular; Panzanella and Fattoush are perhaps the most famous ones. You can check my Summer Panzanella with Garlic Butter Bread recipe which is very popular and will “wow” your guests at your next BBQ. You can also make this Greek Panzanella Salad with garlicky vinaigrette. It’s super easy. Here’s what you need:
- Good quality bread (baguette, ciabatta, sourdough);
- An English seedless cucumber;
- Cherry tomatoes (if tomatoes are in season you can use any kind but if they are not growing yet, cherry tomatoes will do just fine);
- Pepper (traditionally you would use green pepper, but to be quite honest any color will do great here);
- Briny Kalamata olives (if you don’t like Kalamata olives you can replace them with green or black olives, however Kalamata are the traditional ones used across Greece);
- A high quality Feta cheese (I use Dodoni that can be found in Costco, but Trader Joe’s has pretty good feta too);
- A good quality extra virgin olive oil;
- Lemon juice (I used lemon for this recipe but you can use red wine vinegar instead);
- Dried oregano (the best one to use here would be Greek oregano but if you cannot find it, any type of dried oregano will do just fine);
- And finally, salt and pepper.
The steps are very simple:
- Cut cucumbers and tomatoes into cubes;
- Slice the onions;
- Toss the veggies together;
- Cube the bread, and then toast it on a pan with some olive oil;
- Add bread, olives, feta to the veggies;
- Combine garlic, red wine vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper in a jar, mix together and pour over the salad;
- Your side dish is ready! 🙂
Scroll down for full printable recipe.
I recently saw an episode of Barefoot Contessa, with Ina Garten, on Food Network , where she was making a Greek Panzanella and it reminded me how much I wanted to make this recipe. So here it is:
Greek Panzanella Salad with Garlic Vinaigrette
- 1.5 cup Tomatoes - cherry, cut in half
- 1 whole English Cucumber - cut in cubes
- 1/4 Red Onion - thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup Olives - Kalamata
- 1/3 cup Feta Cheese - cubed
- 1 cup Bread - cubed
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil - extra virgin
- 1/3 cup Olive Oil - extra virgin
- 1 whole Lemon juiced
- 1 tbsp Water
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt - pink himalayan or kosher
- 1/4 teaspoon Oregano - dried, Greek
- Black Pepper - freshly ground
- 2 clove Garlic - or 1 big one, chopped
Greek Panzanella Salad
Heat up olive oil in the pan, add cubed bread and cook until golden brown on all sides about 5 minutes
Cut the tomatoes in half, cucumbers in 1/2 inches cubes, slice the onions and peppers
Combine vegetables together, add toasted bread, olives and fata
Pour over the Lemon Garlic Vinegrette and toss gently
Serve immediately for crispy bread croutons or let it stand for a while to have croutons more infused with the vinaigrette
Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
Combine all the ingredients in the mason jar and shake well
If you like this recipe you may also like these light summer dishes: