- Good olive oil
- 1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups) - I like rosemary bread!
- 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 - I leave the garlic cloves out - they're too pungent for me. Instead I use a garlic grinder/mill - same great garlicy taste without the strength of raw 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
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.
^^^ Above is Ina's directions but I have an even easier way...because who really wants to stand at a stove and toss bread cubes frequently?
First, preheat the oven to 375. Then cut your bread into cubes and spread in a cookie sheet/sheet pan, ideally in a single layer. Then add extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) to the bread cubes, and sprinkle salt, pepper and I like to add garlic powder and toss to coat. (The garlic grinders from the grocery stores are awesome.) Pop the bread cube filled sheet into the oven for about 10-15 min - flipping the cubes mid way through. You end up with delicious, home made croutons that seems easier and faster than sauteing so much bread in a pan.
While the bread is baking, cut the cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, tomatoes and red onion and put everything in a large bowl.
For the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic (again, garlic powder/garlic mill), 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.
^^^ The recipe says add the vinaigrette to the veggies and then add the croutons. However I like to mix the veggies and croutons and THEN add the vinaigrette. Either way, as long as the vinaigrette gets into the salad - you're golden.
It's a fantastic salad. A good way to get your veggies without lettuce. =)
Have a wonderful week!