Spring Panzanella Salad

Serves 4



For the croutons:

¼ cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

6 cups day-old bread, crust removed and cubed

6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper, to taste

For the vinaigrette:

½ of a medium-sized red onion, finely chopped

2 ½ tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar

Juice of ½ lemon

¼ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

For the salad:marchpanzanellas_6

3 large leeks

2 teaspoons salt

1 pound asparagus

1–15 ounce can of white beans, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked white beans



1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.marchpanzanellas_3

2.  Mix the bread cubes with the garlic, olive oil and Parmesan in a large bowl.  Toss to coat well.  Transfer bread to a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake, stirring once or twice until croutons are crisp and lightly colored on the outside but still soft within, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

3.  Mix the red onion with the vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil and Dijon. Whisk well and set aside.

4.  Cut off dark green tops of leeks and trim root ends.  Halve each leek lengthwise to within two inches of root end.  Chop leeks into one inch pieces and separate strands.  Rinse well under cold running water to wash away sand.  Cover leeks with water in a large, rimmed skillet.  Cover and simmer leeks until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.marchpanzanellas_15

5.  Without draining the cooking water, transfer leeks to a strainer, and run cold water over to prevent overcooking.  Break off ends of asparagus; chop into 1 inch pieces, and cook in the boiling water until somewhat tender but not wilting, about 3-5 minutes.  Strain and run cold water over asparagus.

6.  Place leek and asparagus pieces in a large bowl with beans and cooled Parmesan croutons.  Pour vinaigrette over and toss well.  Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe Source: Smitten Kitchen


Recipe article written by Katie Hayes and originally published in the March 2014 issue of Validity.

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