Spring Panzanella with Za’atar Croutons

4.80 from 5 votes

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This spring panzanella with Za’atar croutons recipe is SO good. This Spring salad recipe is filled with ingredients like radishes, asparagus, herbs, lettuce and MORE with a creamy and quick lemon dijon vinaigrette. Truly this super green asparagus salad has so much flavor. It makes for great main dish, or can be served as a side dish as well.

Spring Panzanella with Za'atar Croutons

What is a panzanella salad?

Originating in the Italian region of Liguria, Panzanella is a popular and classic summer salad made with toasted bread, tomatoes, red onions, and cucumber. For this version, we are inspired by the classic Panzanella and swapping ingredients for some Spring veg. Serve this version with homemade za’atar-spiked croutons.

For our summer version, check out this Summer Panzanella Salad!

Spring Panzanella with Za'atar Croutons

Key ingredients you need for your Spring Panzanella salad

Bread: We are using a sourdough country loaf, but anything you have will do! I like to use a country loaf because it has a lot of depth, texture and bounce that toasts really nicely! We are just tearing off the slices and toasting. Day-old bread definitely works best here as well!

Za’atar: I love the flavor this seasoning brings to the croutons, it elevates the salad! Za’atar is a popular Middle-Eastern spice that is made with toasted sesame seeds, dried sumac, marjoram, thyme and oregano (and sometimes other spices depending on where it’s from!) The taste is nutty, tangy, floral and a tad acidic.

Spring veggies: For this salad, we’re using green lettuce (this can be little leaf, butter, baby spinach, arugula and anything you have on hand and like!), radicchio, Persian cucumbers, asparagus (we’re blanching, but you can grill, cut and cool as well!), radish and parsley (any other fresh herbs can do here as well like fresh mint or basil!)

Pecorino Romano: I love the sharp taste and nuttiness it brings to the salad. It really ties everything together!

Lemon dijon dressing: This tangy, quick and no fuss vinaigrette is one of my go-to’s. We’re using lemon juice, dijon mustard, extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper, with a little pinch of chili flakes, which are totally optional. You can add a dash of red wine vinegar if you prefer here as well!

Spring Panzanella with Za'atar Croutons

Directions to prepare your salad

Make your croutons

To begin, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and bring a pot of water to a boil. Snap the ends of the asparagus and cut into 3’s.

On a baking sheet with parchment paper, tear your bread into bite size pieces (about 1″ pieces/cubes). Lay on the sheet, season with salt, pepper and za’atar with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well. Bake for 10-15 minutes until toasted to your liking, set aside to cool.

Blanch asparagus

Get an ice bath ready (bowl with a handful of ice and cold water). When your bread is in the oven, and your pot of water if boiling, add in your asparagus and blanch for 5-6 minutes until a vibrant green, remove immediately in an ice bath for another 5 minutes. Drain and dry.

Prep spring vegetables

While that is baking, wash your crisp lettuce, slice your radicchio, cucumbers and radish, set aside.

Toast your pine nuts

In a dry skillet on medium-low heat, add in your pine nuts and toast until fragrant (about 2-3 minutes), be careful here since they will burn quick! Set aside to cool. You can also not toast them if you prefer not to.

Make your vinaigrette

In a small bowl, add in your lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Give it a quick mix with a whisk. Now slowly start streaming in your olive oil and mix until creamy and emulsified.

Time to assemble!

In a large bowl, add lettuce, radicchio, cucumber and radish. Add in your toasted pine nuts, blanched asparagus, cooled toasted torn bread croutons. Finish with torn parsley, shaved pecorino cheese, salt, pepper and drizzle on your dressing. Toss well and add in more cheese to top and serve.

Spring Panzanella with Za'atar Croutons

Tips, Tricks and Substitutions

Ingredients to add on this salad if you like:

Ingredients like avocado, cherry tomatoes, leeks, soft boiled eggs, and other vegetables like sugar snap peas, peas and even green beans! You can also add on protein, like chicken or shrimp!

What are some other cheese alternatives if I don’t want to use Pecorino?

Goat cheese will work, as well! Feta cheese, shaved parmesan or even shredded sharp white cheddar are all great alternatives.

Is this Panzanella salad good the next day?

Absolutely! What you can also do is prepare your cubed bread and toast it the day before, prep all your veggies in a bowl and store covered in the fridge, and them day-of you can toss all the ingredients together.

Once tossed all together, you CAN save in fridge, but the croutons may get super soggy day after, which is not always a bad thing, it’s just up to your preference.

Spring Panzanella with Za'atar Croutons

What goes well with this Spring Panzanella?

Caramelized Leek and Cabbage Pasta with Lemon

Halibut en Papillote with Green Olive Salsa Verde

Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Gochujang Spicy Mayo

Roasted Garlic & Herb Yogurt Dip

Lemon Haricots Verts (French Green Beans) With Crispy Shallots

Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken

If you do make this Spring Panzanella recipe (first of all, thank you!!), be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram so I can be sure to see what you’re making! If you’d like to stay in touch and get the latest to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter here as well!

In addition, we can also be found on YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Spring Panzanella with Za'atar Croutons
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Spring Panzanella with Za'atar Croutons
4.80 from 5 votes

Spring Panzanella with Za’atar Croutons

This spring panzanella with Za'atar croutons recipe is SO good. This Spring salad recipe is filled with ingredients like radishes, asparagus, herbs, lettuce and MORE.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

For your salad

  • 3 slices sourdough country loaf, torn apart in 1″ pieces
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 bundle of asparagus, blanched, can also BBQ with salt and pepper and cool
  • 1 head of green lettuce
  • 1 head of radicchio, thinly sliced
  • 1 Persian cucumber, thinly sliced in rounds
  • 3-4 assorted radishes, washed and thinly sliced
  • 1 small bundle parsley, torn
  • finish with shaved pecorino romano, your desired amount
  • salt and pepper to taste

For your lemon dijon vinaigrette

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of chili flakes, optional

Instructions 

  • Make your croutons. To begin, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and bring a pot of water to a boil. Snap the ends of the asparagus and cut into 3's.
  • Blanch asparagus. On a baking sheet with parchment paper, tear your bread into bite size pieces (about 1" pieces/cubes). Lay on the sheet, season with salt, pepper and za'atar with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well. Bake for 10-15 minutes until toasted to your liking, set aside to cool.
  • Get an ice bath ready (bowl with a handful of ice and cold water). When your bread is in the oven, and your pot of water if boiling, add in your asparagus and blanch for 5-6 minutes until a vibrant green, remove immediately in an ice bath for another 5 minutes. Drain and dry.
  • Prep spring vegetables. While your bread is baking, wash your crisp lettuce, slice your radicchio, cucumbers and radish, set aside.
  • Toast your pine nuts. In a dry skillet on medium-low heat, add in your pine nuts and toast until fragrant (about 2-3 minutes), be careful here since they will burn quick! Set aside to cool. You can also not toast them if you prefer not to.
  • Make your vinaigrette. In a small bowl, add in your lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Give it a quick mix with a whisk. Now slowly start streaming in your olive oil and mix until creamy and emulsified.
  • Time to assemble! In a large bowl, add lettuce, radicchio, cucumber and radish. Add in your toasted pine nuts, blanched asparagus, cooled toasted torn bread croutons. Finish with torn parsley, shaved pecorino cheese, salt, pepper and drizzle on your dressing. Toss well and add in more cheese to top and serve.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 101kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Sodium: 15mg, Potassium: 61mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 0.5g, Vitamin A: 55IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 23mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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2 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    Such a nice and light salad with lots of interest and texture! I loved the addition of asparagus and it was my first time using radishes, so delicious! Dressing I found to be pretty citrusy so I’ll just cut back on that next time. Great recipe!