Grilled Sweet Pepper Panzanella Salad with Whipped Feta

Grilled Sweet Pepper Panzanella Salad with Whipped Feta

Have you tried Panzanella? It’s Italy’s genius way of using up stale bread. Essentially a bread salad mixed with fresh vegetables (usually tomatoes) and a vinegar dressing. For this Grilled Sweet Pepper Panzanella Salad with Whipped Feta, I switched the usual tomatoes for herby marinated grilled sweet peppers and paired it with a sweet creamy honey whipped feta. It’s simple, elegant, and a perfect easy salad for these summer days.

Grilled Sweet Peppers- Must Love Garlic

Grilled Panzanella Salad Ingredients:

  • Mini Sweet Peppers– mini sweet peppers are similar to bell peppers, but smaller and sweeter. They come in red, yellow, & orange and can usually be found in the produce section packaged in a bag with a mix of all three.
  • Bread– you want a good crusty bread for this. I like to use sliced Sourdough. It holds up well in the marinade and adds a bit of tang.
  • Red Wine Vinegar– made by fermenting red wine and has a slightly sweet, tangy flavor. It’s used in a lot of Mediterranean dishes and adds a perfectly balanced acidity. It can generally be found in the store near vinegar or near salad dressings.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil– use a high quality olive oil for best results.
  • Fresh Basil– fresh basil is sweet and peppery.
  • Minced Garlic
  • Crumbled Feta Cheese– feta cheese is a Greek brined white cheese made with sheep or goat milk. It is rich and salty with a slight tang.
  • Cream Cheese– cream cheese helps create a creamy, luscious texture for the whipped feta.
  • Honey– to add a bit of sweetness.
  • Lemon Juice– to add acidity for a balanced flavor.
  • Salt & Pepper

Panzanella Salad Substitutions & Variations:

  • Instead of mini sweet peppers, try grilled zucchini or more traditional raw tomatoes.
  • Instead of red wine vinegar, try balsamic vinegar.
  • Instead of feta cheese, try goat cheese or ricotta.
Grilled sourdough bread & sweet mini peppers- Must Love Garlic

Equipment Needed:

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How to Make Grilled Panzanella Salad:

  • Grill Bread & Peppers: Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high. While grill is heating, prepare the mini sweet peppers by cutting off the tops, cutting them in half, and scraping out the seeds. Rinse peppers with water and gently pat dry with a paper towel. Toss peppers in a splash of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of salt, and a few cracks of pepper. Add peppers to grill in a single layer. Grill 5-6 minutes per side until peppers are tender. Set peppers aside. Brush each side of sourdough slices in a light layer of olive oil. Add bread to grill and grill 60-90 seconds per side.
  • Make Marinade: . In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients. Slice grilled sweet peppers to desired size, and add to marinade. Mix well, cover with plastic wrap, place in refrigerator and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes, but up to 24 hours.
  • Make Whipped Feta: Make whipped feta by adding all feta ingredients to a food processor. Run on high for 1 minute. Use a spoon to scrape down the sides, then run food processor on high for 1 more minute. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Construct & Serve: Chop grilled bread into bite sized chunks. Add to bowl with marinated peppers and mix well. Top with whipped feta and chopped fresh basil.

Leftovers:

  • Once mixed this panzanella salad is best eaten within 2 hours. If prepping ahead of time, grilled peppers will last up to 24 hours in marinade if properly stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Whipped feta with last up to 3 days if stored properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Store bread separately until ready to serve.
Grilled Pepper Panzanella Salad- Must Love Garlic

Tips & Recipe Notes:

  • Serve grilled panzanella salad as a summer side dish or appetizer.
  • Goat cheese also works really well with this recipe!
  • Grilled Panzanella Salad is best eaten within 2 hours of mixing.

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Grilled Pepper Panzanella Salad with Whipped Feta- Must Love Garlic
Grilled Pepper Panzanella with Whipped Feta- Must Love Garlic

Grilled Sweet Pepper Panzanella Salad with Whipped Feta

Grilled Panzanella Salad: Grilled sourdough bread & herby marinated grilled sweet peppers topped with a salted honey whipped feta.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Marinate Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 2

Equipment

  • Grill or Grill Pan
  • Tongs
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Food Processor

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb mini sweet peppers
  • 8 oz sourdough bread sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

For Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh basil finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic about 3 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

For Whipped Feta:

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup feta crumbles
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • Splash lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high. While grill is heating, prepare the mini sweet peppers by cutting off the tops, cutting them in half, and scraping out the seeds. Rinse peppers with water and gently pat dry with a paper towel. Toss peppers in a splash of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of salt, and a few cracks of pepper. Add peppers to grill in a single layer. Grill 5-6 minutes per side until peppers are tender. Set peppers aside. Brush each side of sourdough bread slices in a light layer of olive oil. Add bread to grill and grill 60-90 seconds per side.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients. Slice grilled sweet peppers to desired size, and add to marinade. Mix well, cover with plastic wrap, place in refrigerator and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes, but up to 24 hours.
  • Make whipped feta by adding all feta ingredients to a food processor. Run on high for 1 minute. Use a spoon to scrape down the sides of food processor, then run food processor on high for 1 more minute. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Chop grilled bread into bite sized chunks. Add to bowl with marinated peppers and mix well. Top with whipped feta and chopped fresh basil.
Keyword bread salad, easy summer salad, grilled bread, grilled peppers, panzanella, panzanella salad, pepper panzanella, summer salad, whipped feta

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