Panzanella is a traditional salad using bread and seasonal vegetables. This Greek panzanella recipe is a twist on the classic, introducing toasted pita chips and dried figs.
Where is Panzanella from
Panzanella has its origins in Italy. The word literally means bread (pane) and salad bowl (zanella) where this salad is a great way to transform day-old or stale bread into a salad that sops up the juices of the tomatoes and vinegar. Usually the traditional recipe includes tomatoes, basil, and bread—red, green, and white—the colors of the Italian flag.
A Twist on Tradition
For a Greek version, we’ve brought together a few complementary ingredients that are part of a Greek salad. This includes Kalamata olives and cucumbers along with red onion and feta cheese. Our Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Dried Figs seal the deal. Together with tomatoes, pepperoncini, and oregano complete the transformation. The addition of chickpeas make it a meal and swapping out the bread for pita chips offers a different texture.
Why This Recipe Works
To add a spicy pop to our Greek panzanella bread salad, we replaced some of the vinegar with brine from jarred pepperoncini and a spoonful of mustard. To flavor the pita and head off a soggy situation, we tossed the torn pieces with olive oil, garlic, and oregano and toasted them in the oven.
How Long Does Panzanella Keep
The pita can be toasted and stored at room temperature in airtight container for up to 2 days. We soon discovered that the salad became more flavorful as it sat. Tasters preferred a 30¬-minute marinade before serving; any longer and the vegetables became mushy. Once tossed, the Greek panzanella is best eaten the same day.
Greek Panzanella Bread Salad with Dried Figs
- ¼ cup chopped jarred pepperoncini plus 1 1/2 tablespoons pepperoncini brine
- 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup dried Orchard Choice Golden California Figs stemmed and cut into ¼-inch slices
- 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed 16 ounce
- 1 cucumber peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced thin
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¾ cup pitted kalamata olives halved
- ½ small red onion halved and sliced thin
- 2 pita breads (10inctorn into 1inch pieces
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper
- Adjust oven rack to upper¬ middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine pepperoncini brine, vinegar, 1⁄2 teaspoon oregano, and mustard in medium bowl. Slowly whisk 5 tablespoons oil into vinegar mixture. Add tomatoes, figs, chickpeas, cucumber, feta, olives, onion, and pepperoncini and toss to combine. Let sit 30 minutes. Meanwhile, toss pita, remaining oil, garlic, and remaining oregano in medium bowl. Bake pita on rimmed baking sheet until golden brown, about 10 minutes, stirring halfway through baking. Stir toasted pita and parsley into salad. Let stand 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.