I have never ordered, eaten or heard of panzanella before coming across this post on Smitten Kitchen. A panzanella is an Italian dish that was created to use up stale bread and normally has tomatoes as well. It’s basically a bread salad! And it’s very good, but anything with parmesan croutons is bound to taste good.
6 cups 1-2 day old bread – cut crust off and cut into pieced
6 T. shredded and finely chopped parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper
1/2 red onion – sliced
2 T. white wine vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 t. dijon mustard
1 can white beans
1 bunch asparagus
4 small leeks
Start with the croutons. Spray a cookie sheet liberally with oil and toss in bread cubes. Spray or splash on oil and mix. I used my nice spray bottle and used maybe 1-2 T. at most. Toss on cheese and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until brown. Stir half way through.
Smitten Kitchen’s recipe calls for cooking the asparagus and leeks in a different way, but I roasted mine. Slice the leeks (white and light green parts), rinse thoroughly and clean out dirt. Spray a cookie sheet and toss on leeks and asparagus. Spray with oil and roast for 15-20 minutes until leeks start to brown. Cut asparagus into 1 inch pieces when done.
In a large bowl, mix the vinegar, juice and onions. Next, mix in the dijon and whisk in the oil. Drain and rinse the beans and then mix into the dressing with the roasted vegetables and croutons. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!
Notes: This was good! And I have some left over croutons which will be great on a salad later this week. I can’t wait to try out this other take on panzanella once I get some strawberries through my CSA.
Servings: 5-6 servings