May 1, 2013

Roasted Spring Panzanella

Panzanella (bread salad) is amazing. I've only had it a few times (see Summer Panzanella), but seriously gobble it up each time. This version uses roasted vegetables instead of raw and chickpeas for some protein. I used artisan whole wheat bread from this recipe.

Roasted Spring Panzanella
adapted from The First Mess

For the salad:
2-3 cups roughly cubed stale bread
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2-3 leeks, tough greens and roots trimmed away
1 small red onion, peeled and quartered
4-5 stalks kale (tuscan or curly)
2-3 radishes, thinly sliced
chopped chives for garnish
salt and pepper

For the dressing:
1/4 cup chopped chives or 2 Tbsp. chopped green onions
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
splash of water
2 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper
1 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
1/3 cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

On one sheet, toss the cubed bread with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season to your liking. Once all of the bread is coated, slide the sheet into the oven. Bake for about 13-15 minutes or until bread pieces are deep golden brown. Set aside.

Cut the trimmed leeks in half down the middle, lengthwise. Rinse them thoroughly to remove any grit between the layers. Place them on the other lined baking sheet. Place the quarters of red onion on the sheet as well. Toss the vegetables on the sheet with the remaining tablespoon of oil and some more salt and pepper. Slide the sheet into the oven and roast for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are browning and getting tender. Toss the kale leaves onto the sheet in the last 5 minutes if you like, or leave them raw. Allow vegetables to cool slightly.

While vegetables are roasting/cooling, make the dressing: Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor. Mix or pulse everything until a pale green and creamy mix is achieved. Taste it for seasoning, adjust if necessary and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas and toasted bread. Chop up the leeks, red onions and kale into bite size pieces and toss them into the bowl as well. Season the whole mix with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing on top (you might have a bit extra). Toss everything together to combine. garnish the salad with chopped chives and sliced radishes. Serve immediately.

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