A panzanella salad that features grilled asparagus and a tangy red wine vinaigrette for the perfect combination of flavors.
My friend Lori introduced me to Panzanella salads a couple of years ago and I instantly fell in love with the idea of a “bread” salad! There’s no guilt in eating bread if it’s in a salad, right? At least that’s what I’m telling myself when it comes to this super easy and super delicious version of a Panzanella salad that includes grilled asparagus and a tangy red wine vinaigrette, appropriately named the Grilled Asparagus Panzanella Salad, of course!
This zesty salad starts with day-old country-style bread and the star ingredient, grilled asparagus. If you haven’t tried grilling asparagus, you definitely should! It only takes about 7-8 minutes and if you use a grill pan like this, there’s no worry about losing the spears between the grates. To grill the asparagus, toss the spears in a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes per side, or just until crisp tender. Like I said, easy AND delicious! While you’re grilling the asparagus, you’ll want to also toss the bread on the grill and toast it on both sides for a minute or so. The bread and asparagus are then cut into one-inch pieces and tossed with the rest of the veggies — red and yellow cherry tomatoes, red onion, and Kalamata olives.
Whisk up the vinaigrette — only three basic ingredients, not counting the salt and pepper — and pour over the salad and toss gently. This salad tastes best after it sits at room temperature for about 30 minutes, which allows the flavors to meld and the bread to soak up a bit of the vinaigrette. Be sure to toast the bread until golden brown on both sides, though, to avoid it becoming soggy immediately. Enjoy!
Grilled Asparagus Panzanella Salad
- 1 pound asparagus
- 6 slices day-old country-style bread, 1-inch
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 8 red cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 8 yellow cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
- 6 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
- Preheat grill to high.
- Toss asparagus in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill asparagus perpendicular to the grates for about 5 minutes, or until crisp tender, turning frequently.
- Grill bread slices about one minute on each side, or until toasted. (May brush with olive oil if sticking to the grates.)
- Combine red wine vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic, and salt and pepper and whisk until emulsified.
- Slice asparagus into one-inch pieces and cube bread into one-inch pieces. Place asparagus and bread in a large salad bowl with the tomatoes, onion, and olives. Add the vinaigrette and toss gently.
- Allow to set for about 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.