Recipe of the Week: Greek Panzanella with Fried Goat Cheese Balls Recipe


  • 3 1/2 cups cubed ciabatta bread (I used asiago ciabatta, but you can use whatever good-quality bread is your favorite!)
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 5 oz goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup panko breadrumbs
  • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, but into six wedges
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halves
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • tsp dijon mustard
  • tsp honey
  • Canola oil for frying


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add bread to a medium sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Use hands to toss the bread and coat in the oil. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt. Toss one more time. Bake for 10-12 minutes until slightly golden brown.

  2. Divide the goat cheese in to eight pieces. Roll each one in to a ball. Add panko, plain breadcrumbs, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp oregano to a small bowl. Mix to combine.  Dip each ball in to egg, drip off excess. Dredge in bread crumbs mixture. Dip back in egg, then back in panko. Make sure to get all excess breadcrumbs and egg off each time. Repeat with remaining goat cheese balls. When they are all breaded, pop in the freezer to chill while you prepare everything else.

  3. Add bread, tomatoes, onion and olives to a large serving bowl. Toss.

  4. Whisk red wine vinegar, dijon and honey together in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the tomato and bread mixture. Toss until completely coated. Set aside.

  5. Add enough oil to a small saucepan to go up 3/4 of the sides.  Heat to 350 degrees. (I kept mine at a medium heat). Once the oil has come to temperature fry goat cheese balls until golden brown.  Do not overcrowd the pan. Drain on paper towels.

  6. Add goat cheese balls and basil to the salad mixture. Gently toss. Serve!