I’m bringing back this salad from the archives as we approach the warm summer months (it’s going to be 90 in Connecticut today!) and outdoor BBQ’s. This salad is SO GOOD and the perfect side to bring to a picnic or serve as a side alongside your grilled meats. I took this recipe directly out of Ina Gartne’s book How Easy Is That? cookbook (highly recommend) and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Here is what you need:
- Good olive oil
- 1 loaf of fresh ciabatta or french bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups). I go to Beldotti Bakery in Stamford for my bread, it is out of this world!
- 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
- ½ red onion, sliced in half rounds
- ½ pound feta cheese, cut in ½-inch cubes
- ½ cup Calamata olives, pitted
For the vinaigrette:
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup good red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup good olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Here is what you do:
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the bread cubes and sprinkle with salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 5-10 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. 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.