This post is sponsored by Sprouts Market and I have been compensated. All opinions are my own. @sprouts #lovesprouts #sproutsbrand Summer time means grilling and this easy grilled panzanella salad is a great way to kick off your al fresco dining season. Start with grilled pita bread tossed with summer vegetables, feta cheese and a lemon herb vinaigrette. Grill some chicken spinach feta sausages from your neighborhood Sprouts market (they’re so good). You’ll want to serve this amazing grilled pita panzanella salad with a chilled Sauvignon Blanc.
Chicken Spinach Feta Sausages from Sprouts
The Butcher Shoppe in my local Sprouts market has such a wide variety of meats and hand made sausages, inspiration abounds every time I peer into their chilled cases. Sprouts Market is a new store in our area, but they’ve already sold me on their quality. You’ll recall that Linguiça spaghetti pie that I shared a few weeks ago. Juicy and spicy, those sausages took that pie to the next level.
Here’s what you can expect from your local Sprouts Market:
- Great Selection
- Affordability (I got two pounds of sausage for only $6)
- Natural Products, including Organics, Bulk Foods and the Butcher and Seafood selections.
During my last visit, the hand crafted sausages once again grabbed my attention. This time it was the hand-made chicken, spinach and feta sausage. How good does that sound? I ordered a few pounds, thinking they’d be great on the grill. As I made my way around the store and filling my cart, a recipe started to take shape. Grilled Pita Panzanella Salad with Chicken Sausages. YUM.
Ingredients For Grilled Panzanella Salad
- Greek pita breads (the kind without the pocket)
- Sweet Peppers
- Grape Tomatoes
- English Cucumbers
- Red Onions
- Canned Artichokes
- Sun Dried Tomatoes
- Kalamata Olives
- Pepperoncini Peppers
- Green Onions
- Greek Feta Cheese (in brine)
Most of the prep for grilled pita bread salad is just a bit of chopping. You can use red bell peppers raw, but I prefer them roasted, so the skins slip off and they’re tender and even sweeter.
Sprouts Convenience Items
Sweet, jarred sun dried tomatoes in oil and canned artichokes add to the ease of this salad. Just a rough chop and they’re ready for the bowl.
Assembling The Grilled Panzanella Salad
- In a large bowl, combine the chopped vegetables, feta cheese and olives and toss to combine.
Ingredients For Lemon Herb Vinaigrette
- Lemons (Zest & Juice)
- Dijon Mustard
- Olive Oil
- Juice From Pepperoncini Pepper Jar
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly Ground Pepper
Combine the ingredients in a small bowl or glass measuring cup and whisk until emulsified. Set aside.
For Grilled Pita Bread
- Heat the grill to about 400°.
- Brush the rounds of pita on both sides with olive oil help to make those tell tale grill marks.
- When the grill is hot, place the pita – bubbly side up on the grates. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until you see the bubbly side, puffing and getting more bubbly.
- Flip the pita bread and heat for another 2-3 minutes or until they take on a nice char.
- Transfer the pita to a cutting board and slice the grilled pitas into 1″ pieces and add to the salad.
Grill the Chicken Spinach and Feta Sausages
I can’t say enough about these sausages. You’d think “chicken sausage” might tend to be dry and bland, but these chicken spinach feta beauties are flavorful and juicy. Here’s my secret method.
Poach The Sausages
Yes, poach them in a bit of simmering water, until they’re almost cooked through. This method does two things:
- Keeps the sausages moist and juicy.
- Prevents the sausages from bursting while cooking on the grill.
Grill the sausages to finish cooking and to get the char and grill marks you want.
I’m so impressed with the plump, juiciness and the flavor of these chicken sausages. They’re hearty and satisfying… If I didn’t have the grilled panzanella salad ready to go, I’d have stuck a sausage on a bun and eaten one out of hand.
To Serve Grilled Pita Bread Panzanella Salad
- Dress the salad with about 1/3 cup of the lemon herb vinaigrette and toss to combine. If the salad needs more dressing, add it about 1-2 tablespoons at a time and toss after each addition.
- You can serve the grilled sausages separately, or slice them into meaty chunks and arrange them on the side of the grilled pita panzanella salad.
- Serve immediately.
Check Out More Sausage Recipes:
- Italian Roasted Vegetable and Sausage Pasta
- Spicy Sausage, Tomato and Avocado Salad
- Spicy Chorizo Hash
- Other Sausage Favorites
More Grilling Recipes:
- Grilled Chicken with Herb Dry Rub
- Italian-Style Grilled Shrimp and Polenta
- Grilled Chermoula Marinated Strip Steaks
- Plank Grilled Salmon with Tomato Fennel Ragout
- Tandoori Marinated Grilled Pork
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Grilled Greek Panzanella
FOR THE SALAD:
- 2 sweet bell peppers red, yellow or orange
- 1/2 english cucumber diced
- 1/2 small red onion cut into small dice
- 1/2 cup seedless kalamata olives sliced in half
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup pepperoncini peppers roughly chopped
- 1 14 ounce can SPROUTS artichoke quarters chopped
- 1/4 cup SPROUTS sun-dried tomatoes in oil chopped
- 3 green onions thinly sliced
FOR THE LEMON HERB VINAIGRETTE:
- 2 lemons zested and juiced
- 3 large cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon juice from pepperoncini pepper jar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon capers chopped
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint
- 1/3 cup olive oil
FOR THE GRILLED SAUSAGES & PITAS:
- 3 greek pitas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 pounds SPROUTS Butcher Shop Chicken Spinach Feta Sausages
- 1 1/2 cups water
ROAST THE BELL PEPPERS:
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Place the bell peppers on a sheet pan lined with foil or parchment paper and roast the peppers for 30 minutes or until the skins are blackened and the flesh is soft. Remove from the oven and transfer to a bowl covered with plastic wrap. Let sit until the peppers are cool enough to handle.
ASSEMBLE THE SALAD:
- While the peppers are cooking/cooling, prep the salad. Into a large bowl, add the cucumber, red onions, kalamata olives, tomatoes, pepperoncini peppers, artichokes, sun dried tomatoes and green onions. Toss to combine.
MAKE THE LEMON MINT VINAIGRETTE:
- In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, combine the zest and juice from two lemons, garlic, dijon mustard, salt, pepper, capers and pepperoncini juice. Whisk together to combine. Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking constantly until the dressing is emulsified. Stir in the fresh mint and parsley and set aside.
FOR THE SAUSAGES:
- Preheat the grill to 400°.
- Lightly brush the pita with olive oil on both sides.
- Bring a shallow pan of water to a low simmer over medium low heat. Add the sausages and simmer for 5-8 minutes, turning once until the sausages are poached and mostly cooked. Do not boil the sausages or they could burst.
- Remove the sausages from the pan and place on a baking sheet. Lightly brush the sausages with the remaining olive oil.
- Place the sausages on the grill and cook on each side about 3-4 minutes or until the sausages take on a bit of color and grill marks. Transfer the sausages to a platter.
FOR GRILLED PITA BREAD:
- Brush both sides of the pita bread with olive oil and place the pitas, bubbly side up on the grill. Heat the bread for 2-3 minutes or until it starts to brown and take on the grill marks. You'll also notice that the bread will puff and swell a bit. Flip the pitas and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board.
ASSEMBLE THE PANZANELLA:
- Cut the pita bread into one inch pieces and add to the vegetables. Lightly dress the salad with a few tablespoons of the dressing and toss to coat. If it needs more dressing, add it one or two tablespoons at a time, but don't overdress. Any remaining dressing can be spooned over another salad or used to dress a piece of chicken or fish the next day (also good for dipping with extra pita bread).
- Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and cut the sausages into large chunks. Arrange the sausages in the bowl with the salad and serve.