With the spring weather in full swing, I am totally into eating “green” colored recipes, and green spring-y vegetables. This recipe looked so tasty, and I loved all the green in it. It makes me happy. I added some grilled chicken, too, although it would taste just as good vegetarian.
Spring panzanella with grilled chicken
1 pould loaf of multi-grain bread, cut into 1″ cubes
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
a couple pinches salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch asparagus, cut into segments
2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) peas
4 handfuls fresh spinach
1/4 cup basil leaves chiffonaded
1 or 2 grilled boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
In a large bowl, toss the bread with the garlic, shallot, thyme, salt and olive oil. Turn the bread out onto a baking sheet and toast in a 350 degree F oven for about 15 minutes – until nicely golden and crunchy.
In a cold skillet pour in a splash of olive oil, a splash of water, and a couple pinches of salt. Dial up the heat on the burner, and when the water starts to bubble, stir in the asparagus. Cover, wait about 30 seconds, and then add the peas. Cover, wait another 15 seconds, then add the spinach. Cover and cook for about 30 seconds more, until the spinach starts to collapse just a bit.
Put the bread crumbs in a large bowl. Now pour the asparagus and peas and all the pan juices over the top of the bread.
Give it a good toss, add the basil leaves and the chicken and toss again. Serve family style on a big platter. Makes about 6 servings.