Simple Mediterranean Panzanella

This week I have been all about no cook or minimal amount of cooking meals. Call it laziness or adapting my husband’s summer vacation lifestyle, but not much action has been happening on my stovetop.
Through my couch potato-ing haze, I had a revelation. What is more no cook than a salad?
A salad is easy to throw together any night of the week. But a salad that has big chunks of crusty bread as a main ingredient is something special. It isn’t a salad anymore. It’s a panzanella! (Said in an Italian accent).
The fancy name makes it sound…fancy and complicated. But have no fear; it is easier to make than you think!
Ingredients (Serves 4-5 as a side and 2-3 as a Main Dish)
For the Salad:
½ English Cucumber, chopped
1 ½ Cup Tomatoes, diced
¾ Cup Black Olives, sliced
1 Shallot, thinly sliced
½ Cup Feta Crumbles
1 ½ Cup Croutons
1 Teaspoon Fresh Basil, chopped (optional)
1 Teaspoon Fresh Parsley, chopped (optional)
For the Dressing:
Juice of 1 Lemon (about a tablespoon)
1 Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
½ Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Pepper
Note: Buying some pre-sliced canned black olives and some nice store bought croutons is a huge time saver.
Combine the cucumber, tomatoes, olives, shallot, and feta in a large bowl.
I highly recommend not adding the dressing, croutons, and optional fresh herbs to the salad until you are ready to serve, otherwise the croutons get really soggy. Until then, keep the vegetables and dressing chilled in the refrigerator.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Set aside until ready to serve.
When you are ready to serve, toss the dressing, vegetables, fresh herbs, and croutons together in the large serving bowl. Salad in its separate components will last in the refrigerator for a day or two. Once the salad is mixed and combined, it is best served and eaten right away.

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  • Anita at Hungry Couple
    July 19, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    We LOVE panzanella and make it a lot, year round, but definitely in summer. So good…

  • Dawn
    July 17, 2012 at 6:38 am

    So flavorful! Great summer time salad.

  • Kim Bee
    July 16, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    This is really stunning. I always thought they were hard to make so I’m happy to learn it’s not overly difficult.

  • Jess @ OnSugarMountain
    July 16, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    I can totally relate to the “couch-potato haze”; I’ve been off of classes since May and wow have I been lazy when it comes to, well, everything. But this is an awesome idea; simple enough for my lazy self to whip up but fancy sounding and delicious to boot. 😀 yum.

  • DB-The Foodie Stuntman
    July 13, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Been meaning to make a panzanella…This might motivate me.

    • Stefanie
      July 16, 2012 at 12:23 pm

      Do it! You won’t be disappointed.

  • A
    July 13, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Omg, love all ingredients. Never thought about the croutons. Sounds like it will be on my menu soon. Thank you:)

  • Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine)
    July 12, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Mmm I love panzanella! I love when my croutons get soggy, and I didn’t even realize people made salads with fresh bread sometimes, hehe. I love the flavors in this too!

  • TheFoodGospelAccordingtoRuth
    July 12, 2012 at 11:51 am

    This looks absolutely delicious! Headed to the beach this weekend and think I might have to make it for the family!

  • Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out
    July 12, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Yum.

    When you said you had a revelation through your couch-potato haze, I had this vision of you having a sort of Liz Lemon moment…but maybe it was just the whole “Yes I can be lazy and still eat” thing. 😉

    • Stefanie
      July 12, 2012 at 11:48 am

      Hahahah! I love the Liz Lemon reference, that is totally me this week!