Early Spring Panzanella
For me, this time of year is a little "blah" when it comes to vegetables. At this point I'm over root vegetables and stewing greens and ready for spring.
Depending on where they come from, sugar snaps are great right now and asparagus is starting to pop up from California. I grabbed these two ingredients and paired them with some endive, radicchio, baby cucumbers and gorgeous radishes for a Panzanella celebratory of the incoming Spring season.
Step By Step: Make it Yours
1. Asparagus and Sugar Snaps
2. Sourdough Croutons
3. Cucumbers and Vinaigrette
4. Soft Cooked Eggs
Asparagus and Sugar Snaps
2 heads Endive
1 head Radicchio
3 baby Cucumbers
1 bunch Jumbo or Standard Asparagus
0.5 pound Sugar Snap Peas
4 each Radishes sliced on a mandolin
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and reserve a bowl of ice water on the side. Remove the string from the snaps and blanch them till just tender. Remove immediately and shock in the ice water. Trim the bottom 1-1.5 inches from the bottom of the asparagus.
If you're using jumbo asparagus, peel the bottom 3-4 inches. I blanch my asparagus together with others the same size and I wait till just before I build my salad so I don't have to shock them and they are still warm.
Sourdough bread torn into large crouton size, about 4 cups worth
4 tbs EVOO
4 tbs Butter
Salt and Pepper taste
I like to tear my croutons to give them more crispy textured edges but feel free to cut however you like. Melt the butter in your olive oil and add whatever seasoning you like.
Depending on the size of your pan and/or croutons you can toast in the pan or in the oven at 400 degrees. I toast till the edges are golden and the inside is chewy and warm. Drain on a paper towel and reserve warm.
Cucumbers and Vinaigrette
4 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar
2 Tbs Red Verjus
4 Tbs EVOO
1 tsp dry oregano
1 tsp chopped dill
Salt and Pepper to taste
Add whatever else you like, from basil to onion and garlic powder!
Depending on your personal preference, peel and cut your cucumbers. I like to marinate mine in dressing 20 minutes or so before I build my salad.So I just make my dressing in the same bowl.
6 Soft Cooked Eggs
Bring 2 inches of water to a boil and add your eggs in one layer. Boil for 6-10 minutes depending on the doneness you like. 7-8 minutes should give you a jammy yolk and a fully set white. Drain and run the eggs under cold water to prevent overcooking.
Assemble & Garnish
Have fun with this! Generally I recommend putting the heavier, warmer items closer to the bottom and build from there.
Endive and Radicchio can take a bit of warmth and weight so don't be afraid to place them on the bottom with the croutons and Asparagus. From there, build up and finish with herbs and dressing and salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with Speck or imported ham(optional),basil, dill, cilantro, and sun gold cherry tomatoes (optional)
Smooth and balanced, Betera Ginger-Orange complements this Spring Panzanella with its signature pep.