What’s better than a light, fresh spring salad? A light, fresh spring salad with a ton of toasted bread soaked in dressing, obviously! The panzanella salad originates in Italy and is said to date back to the 16th century. I know nothing of history. But what I do know is that I love a good crouton salad.
This salad is composed of fresh spring veggies that you can find in farmer’s markets this time of year. It really showcases the vegetables. Be sure to buy local and organic when possible. If you can’t, just be sure to find the best quality veggies near you! It really makes a world of a difference.
Courtesy of Danielle Oron of I Will Not Eat Oysters.
For the croutons
For the dressing
For the grilled scallions
Dressing the salad
- Use whatever vegetables are fresh and in season! Get creative!- The veggies and croutons can be made and prepped ahead of time then dressed before serving. Super easy when you have guests coming or if you would like to take this salad as a work lunch. - Change it up! Grill the asparagus and change out the scallions for thinly sliced red onions. And if you can find ramps, it’s your lucky day. Definitely use them!- Substitute the pea shoots for pea tendrils, micro greens or even sorrel. Whatever you can find!
Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F and line a baking sheet with tin foil for easy clean up.
Cut the pumpernickel slices into 1-inch thick cubes.
Place them into a large bowl and drizzle with a very, very generous amount of olive oil. You really want it to cover the bread.
Transfer the bread onto the baking sheet and spread out in one layer.
Season with a bit of salt and bake for 12 minutes tossing the croutons half way through.
In a small bowl, whisk together the dill, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and fresh pepper until combined.
Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Set aside.
Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-low heat.
Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the scallions and season with a bit of salt.
Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side until nicely charred and softened.
Cut the scallions into 1-inch long pieces.
In a large bowl, toss the croutons with 2 tablespoons of dressing and allow them to soak it up while dressing the remaining components.
In a separate bowl, toss the scallions, asparagus, fava beans, radish slices and pea shoots with 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons of dressing. Don’t drown the delicate veggies!
Transfer the veggies into the bowl with the croutons and toss gently to combine.
Plate and enjoy with extra dressing on the side!