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Grilled Vegetable Panzanella Salad

Grilled Vegetable Panzanella Salad

My sister is the Michaelangelo of mealtime, a renaissance woman who can take a classic Tuscan dish and reshape it into modern and mouth-watering fare. Take for example panzanella salad, a rustic bread and tomato salad. Luisa (that’s Lisa’s Italian alias) has taken all that’s delicious about it including the juicy tomatoes, beautiful bread and zesty dressing and made it a masterpiece with the addition of grilled vegetables. The Sistine Chapel may have taken 4 years to complete, but rest assured, you can dig in to this scrumptious salad, bursting with freshness and flavor, in less than 30 minutes.

Bite Me Bit

“If your mother cooks Italian food, why should you go to a restaurant?”

-Martin Scorsese

Ingredients

Lemon Herb Vinaigrette

3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp chopped shallots
1 tsp honey
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup cubed, unpeeled English cucumber
1 small red onion, cut into chunks
20 asparagus, ends removed, cut into halves or thirds, depending on length
2 red bell peppers, cut into chunks
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 (8-inch) French baguette, cut into 1-inch thick slices
1 tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley

Directions

1) For the vinaigrette, in a medium bowl, whisk olive oil, champagne vinegar, basil, Dijon mustard, shallots, honey, lemon zest, salt and pepper until well combined. Set aside.

2) Preheat grill to medium heat. In a large mixing bowl, combine tomatoes and cucumbers. Set aside.

3) In another bowl, toss red onions, asparagus and red peppers with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place vegetables in a grilling basket and place on grill. Stir frequently, until vegetables are cooked through and slightly charred, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from grill, let cool slightly and transfer to mixing bowl with tomatoes and cucumbers.

4) Lightly brush bread slices on both sides with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place on grill and cook until lightly toasted on both sides, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from grill and cut bread into 1-inch pieces. Transfer to mixing bowl with remaining ingredients. Toss to coat with vinaigrette, chopped basil and parsley. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

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