Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Chef, and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
Our baby has been sleeping through the night for the past week and I can’t even tell you what a difference this makes. Is this what is feels like to be normal again? It’s been so long, it’s almost like I forgot.
I’m waking up refreshed, with enough energy to exercise and work and aren’t relying on multiple cups of coffee to fuel my day. The crippling anxiety that plagued me before bed is also gone. No more stressing over how much sleep I would get that night, or worrying what time Vander would want to wake up and eat.
As much as I loved the newborn stage, this is good.
A little more sleep also makes me feel like I can tackle things again. Namely making dinner each night. I’ve been so inspired by the return of Spring produce that I can’t wait for 5 o’clock to roll around so I can get back in the kitchen and experiment.
I feel about asparagus in the spring the way I feel about tomatoes in the summer; the moment the season hits, I don’t want to eat a meal without them. How abouta spring-inspired panzanella salad then?
To keep the beautiful color and crisp flavor, I suggest blanching the asparagus first before adding to the salad. Not only does it preserve the vibrant green shade, it also prevents overcooked stalks.
To that I added pea shoots, torn mint leaves, feta and crispy bread croutons in a red-wine vinaigrette. A fresh, balanced and perfect salad for Spring.
The difference between good and great panzanella salad comes down to the bread. I like to toss half of the croutons with dressing and let sit for 10 minutes; then add the rest of the croutons right before serving. This way they are at varying places of softness, which keeps things exciting.
I’m pretty sure the roof of my mouth is perfectly scarred, thanks to too-hot pizza and too-crusty croutons. The bread should be hard; it shouldn’t break your teeth. Therefore, I remove the outer crust before slicing into cubes and toasting.
Have you noticed a theme yet? Perfect panzanella is a marriage of great texture. Croutons, tender asparagus, mint, creamy feta and pea shoots. Each bite grabs a little bit of everything. Unlike tomato panzanella, you’ll want to serve this one right away to take advantage.
If you are hosting a baby shower or bridal shower this Spring, I think this salad would be the perfect add-on. Or, enjoy it as a side dish or light lunch. It’s great paired with broccoli sandwiches, green goddess sandwiches, or carrot soup.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!Print
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Spring Panzanella Salad! This asparagus and pea salad is so bright and delicious! You’ve gotta try it! Toasted bread croutons with steamed asparagus, pea shoots, feta and lots of mint.
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