Rustic Panzanella Spring Salad
Spring is has fully peaked and summer is in the air. It’s been rather hot lately which makes me feel like spending less time in the hot kitchen and getting outside. I been craving light and simple foods of the summer even though it’s only May. One of my favorite salads I make in the summer is a rustic tomato panzanella salad that celebrates the robust flavors of the season. I was inspired by the recipe for spring with the seasonal bounty of asparagus, peas, and green beans. It’s perfect for a spring lunch or weekend outing and comes together simply. Pair it with a light Pinot Grigio, spritzer, or sparkling wine.
For the salad:
1 artisan french baguette, sliced into 1”-2” inch cubes
2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 bunch of asparagus, (ideally thinner) cut into 2” spears
1-2 handfuls of green beans, cut into 1” pieces
2 cups of peas, frozen or fresh
salt + pepper
parmigiano reggiano cheese, shaved
Set your oven to 350 degrees. Put the bread cubes into a mixing bowl with 1 tablespoon of the diced garlic. Drizzle with olive oil evenly and season with salt lightly. Spread the bread on a baking tray and bake for 10-15 or until lightly toasted golden brown. Remove into a bowl and place to the side for now.
On the same baking sheet, place the asparagus spears and drizzle lightly and evenly with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 15 - 20 minutes or until lightly charred. Remove and set aside in to a bowl.
Fill a small 3 quart with water and bring to a boil. Place the green beans and peas (frozen add in at the last minute) in to the boiling water for 5 minutes, ultimately blanching them. Once tender but firm, drain and run under cold water to stop them from cooking.
In your serving bowl, add a few tablespoons of olive oil, juice of 1/2 a lemon, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, salt, pepper, and whisk together. Add in the bread, asparagus, green beans, and peas, and mix together. Drizzle with additional olive oil and lemon juice if necessary, and serve with parmesan shavings and fresh cracked pepper.