Happy first day of Spring folks! Just look at this beautiful Pico Panzanella Salad; crusty bread and fresh, beautiful tomatoes tossed in a tangy cumin lime vinaigrette. I know the weather is still pretty nasty for a lot of people around the country but this salad shows a glimmer of nice days. It evokes images of strolling through the farmers market searching for fresh produce, picnics in the park and spring time barbecues. [bctt tweet=”Pico Panzanella Salad #summer #salad #local #foodie”] This week I took the time to spring clean. You know the all consuming process of packing winter gear away, reorganizing closets and doing more laundry than you thought possible in one day. It was nice to open the windows, air out all the nooks and crannies though… Warmer weather begs for lighter meals, especially ones with fresh local produce. As a child one of my favorite snacks was croutons, chucks of tomatoes and cubes of sharp cheddar cheese tossed in Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing. I had no idea until much later in life it was essentially a panzanella salad. I just wasn’t a fan of greens back then, all I wanted were the salad toppings! lol Now we enjoy panzanella with a southwest twist. I make pico de gallo by the bucket full during warm months so why not combine the two for a zesty springtime salad. It’s almost 100% local… the veggies, herbs and baguette for the bread cubes came from the farmers market. Even if you are still braving winter weather this salad is easily tossed together with produce from the grocery store. I plan to try the dressing as a chicken marinade soon too. What would you try it with? Enjoy~ the new Mrs.B
Pico Panzanella Salad
- 4 cups croutons or dried bread cubes
- 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 1 small jalapeño pepper seeded and finely diced
- 1/2 small red onion thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice approximately 4 limes
- 3 tablespoons finely diced cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- In a large bowl add bread cubes, tomatoes, jalapeno and red onions.
- Add oil, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, cumin, sugar, salt and pepper to a jar, close and shake vigorously. Or whisk ingredients together in a small bowl until combined.
- Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat completely. Chill 30 minutes before serving.