It’s April, and I’ve been told spring is coming. I’ve spent the entire 31 years of my life residing in Iowa and every year, without fail, spring really does come, and I’m sure it will this year… eventually. It may be snowing right now, but I’m done looking at the record low temperatures and I’m just going to start living my life as if it’s a typical April, and that means embracing beautiful springtime produce!
If you were lucky enough to attend our most recent Sip + Style – Modern Spring Wreaths moms’ night out, you may have already tried this springtime panzanella salad. I’ve been playing with this recipe, and I’m sure it will inevitably evolve over time as I continue to make it. However, I want to share the recipe, as is, with you now.
This recipe is easily adaptable depending on your favorite vegetables, but I like asparagus, cucumbers, bell peppers, shallots, and arugula.
The addition of delicious garlic butter croutons make it filling enough for a entree.
It’s also the perfect side dish to pair with any protein!
- 1 Cucumber
- 2-3 Bell Pepper (Red, Yellow, Orange)
- Cherry tomatoes
- 1 Shallot
- 2 Cloves of garlic
- 4T Butter
- French baguette or ciabatta loaf
- Pine nuts
- Parmesan cheese
- 1 Shallot
- 1/4 c Balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 c Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 T Dijon mustard
- Preheat oven to 350. Mince 2 cloves of garlic and mix into 4 T melted butter. Cube baguette or loaf of bread. Pour garlic butter over bread and gently toss to evenly coat. Spread bread onto a sheet tray. Place in preheated oven. Mix bread every few minutes to prevent burning. When croutons are golden brown, remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Cut asparagus into approximately 2 inch pieces. Drop asparagus into simmering water for 1-2 minutes (until bright green and tender). Immediately, remove from simmering water and shock in a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Remove asparagus and drain on paper towels while preparing the rest of the vegetables.
- Chop cucumbers and bell peppers into bite size pieces. Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Slice shallots thinly and separate rings. Roll basil leaves and thinly slice into ribbons.
- Add all contents to a large bowl along with arugula and set aside.
- Finely mince shallot. In a bowl, add minced shallot, balsamic vinegar, and dijon mustard. Slowly drizzle in extra virgin olive oil while continuously whisking. When your vinaigrette comes together, taste and add salt and pepper as needed. If you are not serving right away, store in a mason jar with a tight lid. Shake jar before using.
- Toast pine nuts in a small pan over medium low heat. (TIP - do not walk away from nuts. They will go from lightly toasted to burnt very quickly). Shave Parmesan cheese and set aside for garnish.
- Add cooled croutons to salad bowl. Lightly dress with vinaigrette and toss. Top with toasted pine nuts and shaved parmesan cheese.
- You can easily add, remove, or change amounts on the ingredients you like best to customize this salad!
- Tip- using a vegetable peeler is a great way to shave parmesan cheese over salad.