If you make ONE new thing this entire spring and summer, it needs to be this salad. I am telling you guys, I cannot emphasize enough how good this is – it is my all time favorite salad, and I absolutely cannot get enough of it!
If you aren’t familiar with panzanella, it’s basically bread salad. Think salad SUPER heavy on the croutons, but the croutons are a little bigger, softer, and chewier than normal, and the salad is more heavily dressed than normal, so the bread soaks up some of the dressing while still maintaining some crunch and chew. It is literally pure heaven!
The very first time I ever had panzanella, I used a version of Ina Garten’s recipe but grilled some of the veggies and left some raw. It was when I was visiting my brother and sister-in-law in Charleston, SC like NINE YEARS AGO. And all this time, panzanella has remained a favorite and repeated dish of mine. I can’t get enough!
I have experimented with a few different versions (like this delicious Bruschetta Panzanella that I put on the blog last year), but I think this version might be my all time favorite!
What makes this panzanella so good that I’m calling it “my all time favorite salad ever”? Let’s discuss:
- TONS of grilled spring veggies – we’ve got artichokes (we use the kind jarred in water for a huge time saver), asparagus, and zucchini. We also have bell pepper and red onion joining the grilling party, which aren’t necessarily spring veggies, but they are so dang good grilled in here.
- Lots of fresh, crunchy veggies too. Right next to the tender, slightly charred grilled veggies, we’ve got crunchy, fresh raw veggies: cherry tomatoes and cucumber. These two little beauties marinate in the dressing while the other veggies are grilling and your bread is toasting. The combo of tender grilled and crunchy fresh is TOO good for words.
- Flavor bomb dressing: we’ve got olive oil, balsamic, grated garlic, dijon mustard, and a few tablespoons of capers. SO good coating everything in this salad
- The bread – THE BRREEAADDD. We cube up some french bread or an Italian loaf…a whole pound of it. Then we toast them in a pan with olive oil + salt and pepper, stirring and tossing until they are golden brown and crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
To finish it off, we toss everything together and we’re ready to serve! You guys, I’m telling you – you will be so totally obsessed with this. You must try!
Watch how to make Grilled Spring Veggie Panzanella below!
Grilled Spring Veggie Panzanella
This delicious spring and summer salad is too good for words – the perfect side dish for any meal!
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 12 servings 1x
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 tablespoons capers (fluid drained, just the capers)
For the rest of the salad:
- 1 hot house cucumber, halved, seeded, and diced
- 10 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 bell pepper, sides sliced off so you have 4 planks (red, orange, or yellow peppers all work)
- 1 pound asparagus, fibrous ends snapped/cut off
- 12 oz jar artichoke hearts, the kind packed in water (you can also use frozen that have been thawed)
- 1 zucchini, sliced into planks for easy grilling
- 16 oz french bread or Italian loaf, sliced into cubes
- Preheat your grill over medium high heat. While it’s preheating, make your dressing. In the bottom of the bowl where your salad will go, add the olive oil, balsamic, garlic, dijon, capers + salt and pepper. Whisk to combine and season to taste
- Dice your tomatoes and cucumber and add that to your dressing, season with more salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Set this mixture aside
- Prep your veggies to grill: slice the onion, zucchini, and bell pepper and remove the fibrous ends of the asparagus. Drain your artichokes and lay them out over several layers of paper towels. Dry well with more paper towels. Lay all your grilling veggies out across a baking sheet or 2, and drizzle with olive oil + season with salt and pepper. Rub the oil and seasonings into the veggies. I used a veggie grilling tray for the asparagus and artichokes so they wouldn’t fall through the grates of the grill
- Grill the veggies until they are tender but still have a bite. When cooled slightly, dice the veggies and add to the salad bowl with the tomato, cucumber, and dressing. Toss to combine
- For the croutons, heat the largest skillet you have over medium – medium high heat with plenty of olive oil. When hot, add your bread, season with salt and pepper, and toss occasionally until the bread is golden brown and crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Add more oil to the pan as needed. Season the toasted bread to taste
- When you’re ready to serve, toss the toasted bread with the rest of the salad, and you’re ready!
- Calories: 206
If you make this or any of my other recipes, be sure to Instagram it and tag @thegarlicdiaries so I can see!