A Greek twist on one of my favorites, Panzanella or bread salad. With toasted pita bread, chickpeas, feta, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and red onions tossed all together with a sunny lemon vinaigrette. A flavor fest.
You get a little nuttiness from the chickpeas, a cool crunchiness from the raw vegetables, the creamy bite of feta with briny olives surrounded by bright lemon and spices like oregano and thyme.
For me the best part of this salad is the pita bread. An ingredient so simple but unexpected. The pita is toasted to get a little golden brown crunch on the outside while leaving some of its soft, chewiness intact. It’s ripped apart into rustic, bite-size chunks and mixed into the salad right before serving. Truth be told I could not get enough. It made the salad so interesting.
To save time you can mix all of the salad ingredients except the pita together ahead of time. This also allows the flavors of the dressing to develop. Don’t mix the pita bread in until shortly before serving otherwise it can become soggy.
A Greek pita bread salad with chickpeas, feta, raw vegetables and a sunny lemon vinaigrette.
- In a food processor pulse the oil, lemon, vinegar, mustard and garlic together until creamy. Mix in the lemon zest, spices and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place the pita breads on a baking sheet and toast until lightly golden 8 - 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- In a large bowl toss the cucumber, tomatoes, onion, olives, chickpeas and feta together.
- Toss with enough dressing to lightly coat. Mix in the parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Tear the pita bread into bite-sized pieces by hand. Just before serving mix them into the salad with additional dressing as needed. Refrigerate leftovers.
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