Spring Panzanella Salad
Updated: Apr 30, 2022
makes a large salad that can be dinner for 4 or side dish for 6-8
White Balsamic Vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 tabespoons shallot, finely diced
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Place the white balsamic vinegar, shallot, dijon and lemon juice in a small bowl. Whisk the vinegar mixture while slowly drizzling in the olive oil until comepletely combined. Add the salt and taste for seasoning, it should be pretty tart and bright, add more salt if needed.
2 bunches asparagus, tough stems removed
1 cup radishes, thinly sliced
2 cups sugar snap peas, sliced whole into 1/2 inch slices
2 cups fresh pea shoots
8 or 9 oz Halloumi Cheese, or 8 oz Burrata cut into rough pieces
1 loaf ciabatta bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
Preheat the oven to bake at 400 F.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the water and then add the asparagus stalks. Cook at a low boil for 2 minutes and then drain the asparagus well. Allow the asparagus to cool until you can handle it, then cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Place in a large bowl and move to the refrigerator to cool completely while you prepare the rest of the the salad.
Place the bread cubes on a large baking sheet in a single layer (use two baking sheets if necessary) and toss with the 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grindings of fresh pepper. When the oven is preheated, move the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and toasted, it can still be a little soft in the middle. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
When the asparagus is cold, add the radish slices, sliced peas, and pea shoots to the bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and set aside.
If using Halloumi:
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small nonstick pan over medium heat. Cut the Halloumi in half legthwise to make thinner slices. Place each piece in the pan and cook until brown and crispy on the bottom, flip and repeat process on the other side. Remove from the pan and cool until you can handle it. Tear into bite sized pieces and add to the bowl with the vegetables.
If using burrata, proceed below:
Add the toasted bread cubes, 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grindings of fresh pepper to the bowl with the vegetables and toss everything together. Taste for seasoning and add more vinaigrette and salt if needed. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes in order for the bread cubes to absorb some of the vinaigrette and soften a bit, then taste again for seasoning.
If using burrata, gently toss it in just before serving.
Serve cold or at room temperature.