‘Loved the look of the Summer Greens Panzanella in the Wall Street Journal, so Phil and I did some shopping in our garden and at the market to collect the ingredients. We made it for Sunday dinner and served it with roasted chicken.
The recipe comes from Chef Johnny Monis (Korni and Little Serow – both in Washington D.C.), who is known for his multi-course family-style dinners.
Of course, I made small tweaks here and there. When our tomatoes ripen, I’ll make a similar salad and show them off. But for now, this is just perfect.
One of the things I love about the salad, heaven help me, is the style of crouton. They don’t get squishy in the salad, and they are garlicky good. I used La Brea Bakery’s Rosemary and Olive Oil Bread – luscious, really luscious when toasted then tossed in warm garlic-infused extra-virgin olive oil.
Also I soaked the strips of red onion in ice water for about 45 minutes before using them. This took the mouth-burn out and left them with a just-right spark.
Summer Greens Panzanella Salad
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
4 1-inch thick slices of day-old rustic bread (I used fresh – took it longer to crisp and lightly brown in oven)
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons roughly chopped garlic
Coarse salt, to taste
1 cup shelled fava beans (It will save you a lot of time if you substitute edamame —favas require shelling, then blanching, then skin removal — ok if you have help – I made Phil do this – poor Phil)
1 cup English peas (I used frozen)
1 cup green beans or wax beans, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup sugar snap peas, trimmed, strings removed if present, cut into bite-size pieces (I left them whole – thought they were pretty that way)
½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup Sherry vinegar (I used Champagne vinegar)
½ cup thinly sliced (red) onion
½ cup fresh mint, washed, dried and roughly torn
½ cup fresh dill, washed, dried and roughly chopped
1. Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Tear bread into rough 1-inch pieces. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake until golden, about 14 minutes, flipping once halfway through to ensure even coloring. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat ¼ cup oil and garlic in a medium sauté pan set over medium-low heat. Cook until garlic is light colored, about 3 minutes. Pour garlic oil (with the garlic) over bread and toss well to coat. Season with coarse salt and set aside.
3. Lightly blanch all greens in individual batches of boiling water until just crisp-tender. With a slotted spoon, immediately transfer them to an ice-water bath. Remove from ice-water bath and dry well.
4. Whisk together mustard, vinegar and remaining ½ cup oil. Season with salt. In a large bowl, toss croutons with onion slices, greens and herbs. Lightly dress with half the vinaigrette and season with salt. Let sit 5 minutes and then taste. Add more dressing or seasoning if necessary, and reserve the rest for another use. (I found that I didn’t use all the vinaigrette – so I saved it and used it the next day.)