Panzanella is an Italian bread salad that's traditionally made in the Summer with day old bread, tomatoes, and basil. However, I love this salad and I make it year-round. So does Michael Chiarello, apparently, because he's got recipes for Spring and Winter panzanellas that incorporate seasonal ingredients.
Over the weekend I was invited to a picnic and decided it was the ideal time to experiment with his Spring version. It combines fresh peas, asparagus, basil, and green beans with croutons, radicchio, spinach, and ricotta cheese. This salad is spectacular!
It's full of interesting textures, from the crunch of the croutons to the crumble of the cheese. It's packed with tons of different flavors: earthy asparagus, aromatic basil, salty cheese. Spring panzanella is not only awesome at a picnic, but it's a welcome addition to a Memorial Day barbecue menu. Check out the method now.
Serves 10. Panzanella Croutons: 1/2 cup unsalted butter Makes about 4 cups.
1 large loaf Italian batard, ripped into small bite-sized pieces
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/2 cup unsalted butter
Makes about 4 cups.