Spring Pesto Panzanella Recipe

By admin |

Recipe by Joanne Bruno


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.

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

Prep Details

Servings: 8

Calories per serving: 480 per serving

Prep time: 15 min

Cooking time: 35 min

Total time: 50 min


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


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.