Greek Salad with Croutons

I wait all year for late summer when tomatoes are freshly in season, and there's no better way to showcase them than in a Greek salad. I'm using a bright variety of tomatoes that are perfectly sweet and juicy. Plus I'll share how to make homemade, unstructured breadcrumbs you can easily add to any salad.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 45 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Croutons

1/2 large sourdough round, about 1 to 1½ cups torn bread

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Marinated Tomatoes

2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, get a variety of different kinds

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 bunch basil

1/4 bunch flat-leaf parsley

For The Feta

8 ounces feta

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For The Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons dried oregano, preferably from Penzey's Spices

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 clove garlic, grated or minced

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For The Salad

1 pound cucumbers, preferably Persian

1/2 red onion, cut through the core

20 Niçoise olives

1 pinch dried oregano

Directions

  1. Make croutons: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Pull 1- to 2-inch chunks from the inside of the sourdough bread and add to a small mixing bowl (you should have about 1 to 1½ cups of bread crumbs). Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt, mixing well with your hands to combine. Spread the bread in a single layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet and toast for 25 minutes.
  2. Remove the croutons from the oven and set aside to cool. Marinate tomatoes: Remove and discard any stems. Cut into varying sizes, then place the cut tomatoes on a plate and season with salt. Drizzle with olive oil. Tear and scatter the basil and parsley leaves over the tomatoes.While the tomatoes are marinating, prepare the feta cheese. Drizzle the cheese with olive oil and freshly ground black pepper, and set aside.
  3. Make the vinaigrette: Combine the dried oregano, black pepper, salt, grated garlic clove, vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil.Slice and set the cucumber aside. Quarter the onion lengthwise, and slice into thin slivers. If you have time, rinse the raw onions in ice water. Set aside.
  4. Assemble the salad: Spoon the marinated tomatoes onto a serving platter. Dress the croutons with a little of the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Add the sliced cucumbers and onions to the croutons, then drizzle with a little more vinaigrette. Layer the mixture on top of the tomatoes. Scatter the olives around the salad, crumble the feta cheese on top, and add a little more oregano and olive oil to finish.
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