Dinner

By Joanne Bruno | April 9, 2012

panzanella

Asparagus season deserves a welcome home party, complete with streamers and party hats and noisemakers and confetti (lots of confetti).

Or…maybe just a big hearty salad that is bursting with color and flavor and tastes like a combination of spring breeze and summer sun.  On that note, send in the panzanella – chock full of roasted asparagus and leeks, white beans, cubes of toasted bread, and the fresh flavors of sun-dried tomatoes and pesto, this salad is just the kind of homecoming feast that asparagus deserves. Grab a fork and get ready to dig in.

panzanella

An Eats Well With Others Original; Photos by Joanne Bruno.

Joanne Bruno is a food writer and third year MD/PhD student.  Find more of her delicious ramblings over at her blog: Eats Well With Others

Other great recipes from Joanne Bruno:

Coconut Macadamia Nut-Crusted Mahi-Mahi with Tropical Salsa

Pasta with Oven-Roasted Eggplant, Goat Cheese, and Mint

Cheddar Scallion Scones

Spring Pesto Panzanella Recipe

Servings: 8
Calories: 480 per serving
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 35 min
Total Time: 50 min

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread(about 11 oz)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb asparagus, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 6 leeks, green parts removed, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups white beans or flageolets
  • 5 tomatoes, chopped (I used kumato tomatoes)
  • 1 (8 oz) jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 1 head butter lettuce, leaves shredded
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepperto taste

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Cut the ciabatta into cubes (or tear it into small pieces). In a large bowl, mix it with the 1/4 cup olive oil, minced garlic, and parmesan cheese.

3. Place it on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool. Leave the oven on.

4. Spread the asparagus and leeks on a second baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with salt. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until asparagus and leeks are starting to brown. Set aside to cool.

5. In a large bowl, mix together the bread cubes, asparagus, leeks, white beans, tomatoes, lettuce and sun-dried tomatoes. Mix in the pesto and balsamic vinegar so that everything is evenly coated. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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