April 28, 2011

greek bread salad

I go to Bible study on Thursdays.

Well, not last Thursday.

Or today, for that matter, but generally speaking I do go to Bible study on most Thursdays.

(These photos have absolutely nothing to do with this post. In the editing process, I realized I ended up rambling quite a bit, and large chunks of rambling text without pictures to distract you from the rambling nature of the text makes me uncomfortable. Hence, we now have distractionary pretty pictures from my archives for your viewing pleasure.)

I've been to a lot of Bible studies in my day, but this one is far and away my favorite. Ever.

Why is it my favorite you ask? Three reasons.

A Bible Study Trifecta, of sorts.

First off, there is the study itself. It's been a great one. Really, really good.

Part two is...the people.

As I said, the study itself is wonderful, but the interaction between the participants and what I've learned from each of them is truly the highlight of the study for me.

What started out many months ago as a very diverse group of ladies, some of whom were perfect strangers, has ended up as one of the closest knit groups I have ever been a part of. Each and every lady there now permanently owns a pretty large chunk of my heart.

I love these ladies.

Part two of the trifecta actually has its own two parts.
A. The aforementioned lovely ladies.
B. One of my very favorite short and smushy people on the planet, Baby Tyler.

Baby Tyler is not a little baby anymore, he's a Big Baby. Immediately after his very first photo shoot last summer, I invited myself to become his honorary Auntie Teresa. I didn't really even ask his mom or grandma if that was okay with them, I just used the assumed sale approach and so far it seems to be working.

If it's not working, mom and grandma are too nice to tell me so.

I've been a shameless baby hog during every single study, and as such I got to enjoy one of my very favorite pastimes ever.....giving a sleepy baby his pre-nap bottle.

Baby Tyler and his mama Jess aren't going to be able to come on Thursdays anymore, and they will be missed in a very big way. It just won't be the same without them. My lap will be empty, the seat next to me on the couch will be empty, and no one will be trying to rip my Bible study book to shreds.

At least I don't think anyone else will try to shred my book. A couple of these ladies do look like they've got a little wild side hiding under the surface, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

In an attempt to fill the hole left by Tyler and Jessica's absence, I will now move on to the third Bible Study Trifecta factor.

The food.

Oh, the food.

When we started meeting way back when, I'm pretty sure the food was supposed to be on the snacky side. But, very quickly it evolved into full on lunch, and not just typical lunch....fabulous lunch.

The last time we met up, it was my friend Delia's (Tyler's grandma) turn to wow us with her culinary skills. She did not disappoint. Among other delicious things, Delia made a Greek pita bread salad, and I found myself going back for seconds, thirds and fourths.

Delia shared the recipe, so I made a batch the next week and proceeded to eat the entire thing in two days.

I made another batch yesterday, and this time I had the good sense to take some pictures before it vaporized before my very eyes.

This is one of the few recipes without cream cheese that I've deemed worthy to share on this blog. It is delicious, and when you go to the store to buy the ingredients, make sure you buy enough to make more than one batch because I guarantee you'll be making this more than once.

Greek Bread Salad

1/4 cup chopped jarred pepperoncini, plus 1-1/2 tablespoons pepperoncini brine
1-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano - I didn't have any oregano
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved - I used Campari tomatoes from Costco
1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
cucumber, peeled and sliced. I didn't peel mine. Lazy.
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
3/4 cup sliced kalamata olives - I think Delia used black olives and it was equally delicious
1/2 small red onion, halved and sliced thin - I left this out

2 (10-inch) pita breads, (not pockets), torn into 1-inch pieces
1 garlic clove, minced - I left this out
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley - I left this out, too
Salt and pepper

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, 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.
*The second time around I baked my pita at 350 and stirred them every four minutes. They got away from me the first time:(
I also cut up all six pitas in the package and just tossed them in olive oil and sprinkled them with Kosher salt. Why toast two pitas at a time when you know you're going to make the salad at least fourteen more times.

Stir toasted pita and parsley into salad. Let stand 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Since I wasn't serving the entire salad at once, I added the feta and pita to the veggie mixture each time I made a bowl for myself. Soggy pita is not happy pita.

I have no doubt I will eat this salad on a very regular basis until I make myself sick and never want to see it again.

Greek Bread Salad....an entire batch every two days will do ya good.


  1. yummy! and your photographs are gloriously gorgeous!

  2. Everything sounds wonderful...the Bible study, the people, the baby, the food and your photos are amazing!!
    That salad looks scrumpdeli-icious (thats a new word) :)
    Have a great day!

    Deborah xo

  3. Love this Teresa! Thank you for all your distractionary (is that the word you used?) photos. You know I LOVE your photos! As far as the salad -- it sounds yummy, and I loved it at the end when you said, "an entire batch every two days will do ya good." I make a salad like that. My family calls it the smelly salad. It involves garlic, green onions, cucumber, tomato, and feta cheese. 'Nuf said. I could live on the stuff. My kids on the other hand can smell it comin' a mile away and say, "no thanks!" Oh well, more for me! =) Hugs to you Friend!

  4. LOVE the pic of baby tyler on the scale! your pictures always make me smile...and thank you so much for your compliments on my pics, i was so flattered that you gushed about my pictures :) your blog posts have definitely been helping ;)

  5. You know, I love what you post, no matter what it is. Your pics are always stunning. You could just post pics of your home and garden all the time. I'd keep looking! Oh, and can you come help me with my garden? Yours is so much prettier!

  6. Teresa, you are an angel to share that recipe. I am salivating looking at that yummy picture! I will be making that right now! Can you believe I have all the ingredients on hand? Well, except for the pita bread and I don't feel like going to get some. Lazy

    And baby Tyler is heaven's breath~

    Bible study brings forth many heavenly things.
    Speaking of heavenly things, you'll never guess what I found in my suitcase when I returned from my daughter's house!!
    An adorable little halo.
    I wonder who is missing their halo???

  7. Oh the pictures... first one I loved, thought it was the one. That is until I got to the baby shot. I'm thinking of swiping my new great nephew, Lincoln, and taking some fab photos like this before he gets "big".... your baby photos have really inspired me (not to swipe him, just the picture part!).

    Isn't it hard when something is sooo perfect and then it changes? No baby will be so sad... but at least you will always have the food... or perhaps at least the recipe?


  8. It's so nice that you found a woman's Bible study that you enjoy so much. I need to find one around here. My church is small and doesn't have one. And I need to find one with a squishy baby that I can hold too! It's been a while! A girl at my church just has a new baby, so I can't wait for my turn in the nursery! The pictures are breath-taking and the salad looks good! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Just found your beautiful blog! Your photos are great!

  10. This is my first time visiting and I was mesmerized by your amazing photos and commentary! I used to be in a wonderful bible study group but it fizzled out eventually as everyone's kids started getting older and we all got busier. I really miss that group and wish I could find another one as wonderful!

    That salad looks amazing! It reminds me of one I often make - Panzanella.

  11. That baby has got to be the most precious thing this side of Montana! And I think I might have to head to the store right now for the ingredients to that salad! All sorts of good things come from a Bible study!!

  12. Oh yum..I will make it. With black olives. I dislike those K. olives, I want to like them, but we just are not a good fit. Thanks for sharing such a lovely tale, and btw what Bible study is this?

  13. This looks fabulous!! And, the picture of Baby Tyler is so cute!

  14. Sounds like a Bible study I want to join!!! Tyler is a doll!!

  15. Oh, well our mutual love continues...but I'm sorry, this salad will trump words of wisdom everytime (p.s. thanks for saying that). :)

  16. You had me at Baby Tyler!! So adorable!! Sounds like a great bible study!! Sign me up!!

  17. Sounds like a wonderful group with great food!
    When my garden grows up it wants to look just like yours :>)

  18. First off, your garden is just gorgeous and secondly that salad looks delicious. I've never had with pita bread in it, it seems like a natural match. Don't know why I never thought of it before. I will definitely be trying this one soon.

  19. Wish I could hop on over and fill that chair. Do you think Utah is too far away? Also, no babies (all grown) could bring a couple of precious little grandies though. Can't wait to make that salad! Love the baby, baby scale, and the garden!!

  20. Oh my, that sounds absolutely deLISH! In fact, I need to wipe a little drool off my chin. Excuse me, but I need to go find some breakfast before I start trying to lick the computer screen!

    And as far as I'm concerned, you can throw those distractionary photos of the garden in any old time you want...absolutely breath-taking!!! :)

  21. Hey!! I think we are in need of a lunch date or something! Tyler misses his Autie Teresa!! Outside of Monday-Friday from 7:30am to 6:00pm, I'm pretty open!!! Give me a call!! 381-1313. :)

    Love ya,

  22. Oh, I'm a baby
    hog, too!!!
    And I might just
    hog down that
    salad if I make it,
    as well! Thanks
    for sharing both
    baby and salad!!
    xx Suzanne

  23. That salad is the stuff dreams are made of! Chick peas, olives, and feta? YUM! Thanks for sharing :)

  24. Does your garden look like that NOW!??! In April?!?! I am so, so jealous! It is simply glorious.

    And that salad looks all kinds of yummy! Thanks for sharing. :)

  25. Love the "distractionary pretty pictures" :)
    Lucky you to have such a fun and close knit Bible Study group.

  26. Well, I love hearing about your lady friends. They're right lucky to have you in the circle, Ben.

    But about this salad: Put 'er on the list. That's an order.

  27. Oh my goodness...your photos are just lovely! So happy you love Bible study:)
    ps..i'm having a give-away on my blog! Stop on over if you get a minute!!

  28. You have such a talent for photography! And gardening!

  29. It sounds like a lovely Bible study. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  30. Sounds yummy! And that baby is yummy. I love the honorary auntie position. I have volunteered (with the same assumed sales pitch) my services in that role a few times in the last couple years. I even get to be called Auntie in several languages (English & Finnish). And what was your bible study called?

  31. Hi, Teresa! I've been here, lingering quite a while, catching up on your posts I've missed and I just wanted to tell you again (because I'm sure I've probably said this before) how much I LOVE the way you write! You are such an engaging blogger and I wish I had a just a touch of your style in a constant form. With me it tends to come and go much like a multiple personality! LOL!
    Loved the zinnia story, the photo tips and the sweet bible study post. Thanks for sharing your humor and photography with us!

  32. Wait, what? Teresa I was totally distracted by your beautiful photos...
    xo Cathy

  33. enjoy how one gets to know who you are through your posts lots of depth, insight and love for your fellow being nice read real nice

  34. Made the salad

  35. I re-pinned this recipe on Pinterest! Haven't made it yet but will soon. I've had a lot of people pinning it from mine as well...so your site will be seen, since (and I clearly put this in the comments) ...you have to scroll down near the bottom to see the recipe. Like the rest of your site too. I've been amazed at what Pinterest has done...this is a post you wrote nearly a year ago...and now people are finding this recipe! :-)
    Blessings to you!