I took this online survey a while ago that matches you with potential roommates, since I’m going to need one when I move to New York for culinary school (!!!) Some of the questions are very specific, which I guess is a good thing, but I have a hard time believing that most people are answering truthfully most of the time. For instance, “What happens to your takeout?” Well, sometimes I eat enough lo mein for three people in one sitting. Other times I leave it in the refrigerator until it smells questionable. But since this is multiple choice, I went with: I’ll throw it out in a week, tops. “What’s your stance on your roommate’s promiscuity/’one night stands’?” Answer: I’d rather not stumble over any strangers in my hallway. Reality: Schlep your drunk ass to his house. “What do you like to do in your free time?” Answer: Cook, hang out with friends, photography, see movies, try new restaurants. Reality: Bake on the couch like a human potato and judge people. “Typical TV viewing?” Answer: I watch TV, but it doesn’t consume my life. Reality: I watch TV shows that target teenage girls and I have been known to park myself on the couch until I can no longer contain my bladder. “Criminal activity?” Answer: I’m completely law-abiding, and proud of it! Reality: I stole some jam once.
I might be able to get away with some of those real answers if people knew that they would basically never have to cook if they lived with me. They’d be eating some pretty tasty dishes like this Greek Panzanella Salad. I make this salad a lot, but mainly when it starts to get a little warmer outside. It’s very simple and easy to put together – just toasted ciabatta bread cubes, cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, red onion, feta, kalamata olives, and red wine vinaigrette.
- 1 (1 pound) loaf ciabatta bread, cut into ½-inch cubes
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 hothouse cucumber, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Toss together the bread cubes and ¼ cup of olive oil on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
- Toss together the cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, red onion, olives, feta cheese, and toasted bread cubes in a large bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, garlic, oregano, and mustard in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.