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.
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.