March 9, 2009

Spring Panzanella

The weather's been in the 70's this weekend. I had the windows open all afternoon yesterday, except during the crazy-windy thunderstorm that lasted about 10 minutes. I have spring fever. Bad.

I not just ready for more sunshine and longer daylight hours, I am also ready for spring food! I'm anxious to resume my Saturday morning farmers market & breakfast outings. I'm craving fresh fruits & vegetables and salad suppers.

To celebrate the warm temperatures, which aren't supposed to last much longer, last night we grilled marinated flank steaks & I made a green, spring-time version of a panzanella (bread salad).

Spring Panzanella
adapted from 101 Cookbooks

1 loaf hearty (preferrably day-old) bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (I used a french baguette)
2cloves garlic, chopped
1 shallot, minced finely
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
a couple pinches of salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch asparagus, cut into segments
2 cups peas, fresh or frozen
4 handfuls spinach
juice of 1 lemon

In a large bowl toss the bread with the garlic, shallot, thyme, salt and olive oil. Turn the bread out onto a baking sheet and toast in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes - or until they are nice and golden and crunchy.

In a cold skillet pour in a splash of olive oil, a splash of water, and a couple pinches of salt. Dial up the heat and when the water starts to bubble stir in the asparagus. Cover, wait about twenty seconds, now add the peas. Cover, wait a few seconds, now add the spinach. Cover and cook just a few more seconds until the spinach starts to collapse just a bit.

Put the bread crumbs in a large bowl. Now pour the asparagus and peas and all the pan juices over the top of the bread. Squeeze the lemon juice into the bowl and toss to combine everything. Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.


Anonymous said...

Spring panzanella sounds amazing. I have bread...if we don't eat it by this weekend I'm definitely making this.

Anonymous said...

i've made this once before and it is bright and perfect to welcome [or coax] in Spring!