Spring Panzanella Salad

I love panzanella salads...mainly because there isn't too much that's healthy about a panzanella salad, it's just a wonderful, delicious mix of bread and other ingredients. In this panzanella salad spring vegetables and lemon dressing mix with the herb seasoned bread to make a wonderful twist on a traditional panzanella salad.

Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod.

-8 cups cubed artisan bread, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
-1 half stick butter, melted
-1 teaspoon finely chopped chives
-1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley
-1 large bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
-3 cups mixed greens
-1 cup fresh or frozen peas (thaw peas if using frozen)
-1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Lemon Dressing
-1/3 cup olive oil
-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
-1 teaspoon white or golden balsamic vinegar
-1/2 teaspoon honey
-1 clove garlic, minced
-Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

-1 tablespoon chopped chives
-1 tablespoon chopped parsley

First, in a small bowl, combine melted butter, chives, and parsley. In a large bowl, have the bread cubes ready and then pour the herb butter over the bread cubes and toss until well coated. Spread the bread cubes onto a large baking sheet in a single layer.

On another baking sheet spread the asparagus pieces out in a single layer and drizzle with olive oil. Toss until well coated. Season the bread cubes and asparagus with salt and black pepper, to taste. Place baking sheets in the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Make sure to stir both one or two times while they are baking. Once the bread cubes and asparagus are finished baking, remove from the oven and let cool.

Next, make the dressing, by combining olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, honey, and garlic. Whisk until combined. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.

After that, combine the bread cubes, asparagus, mixed greens, peas, and feta cheese. Portion onto plates and serve with as much or as little lemon dressing as you'd like. 

This panzanella had wonderful flavor. The bread cubes really soaked up the butter and herbs and took on a the flavor of both during the baking process. The roasted asparagus and peas added a nice hint of spring to the dish. The lemon dressing and feta cheese added some nice contrasting flavor. Overall, I was happy with this dish, as was Dave. It didn't take us too long to eat all of the leftovers. 


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