And, just like that, it's summer. And it's hot. Like, really hot. It's typical June weather in New York and the time when I start to think twice about any meal that might be too heavy. So I took myself to the farmer's market for salad inspiration.
I had a beautiful hunk of Parmesan cheese at home and I love shaving it over salads. Typically I do that with Caesar salads but I was more in the mood for those delicious croutons that typically come with a panzanella. So I combined the two.
This salad is definitely cheese happy since I added a good amount to the dressing and didn't skimp on the shaved Parmesan on top. And when I say Parmesan I mean imported Parmigiano-Reggiano. Domestic Parmesan is much saltier than the imported which only contains milk, sea salt and rennet. It comes in giant rounds with the words Parmigiano Reggiano spelled out in pin dots. You won't always see all the dots if the cut piece you're buying is small but just make sure the packaging says it's the imported Parmigiano Reggiano or ask the workers at the cheese counter. So, great cheese, great bread and fresh vegetables added up to an ideal hot summer dish. Enjoy!
Parmesan Panzanella Salad
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Ingredients (4 Servings)
- 2 Cups arugula or baby spinach leaves
- 1 Seedless cucumber, sliced
- 2 Tomatoes, cut into quarters or eighths
- 2 Bell peppers (I used orange), julienned
- 2 Slices thick sliced bread
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Shaved slivers of Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 Clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 Teaspoon mustard
- 1/4 Cup grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and grated Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Slice the bread into cubes and toss with the tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the prepared dressing. Spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 - 15 minutes until the croutons are a light golden brown.
Assemble the salad with the greens, cucumbers, tomatoes and bell peppers. Sprinkle on an equal amount of croutons and drizzle with the dressing. Top with the shaved Parmesan.
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This recipe is sponsored by Parmesan.com. For more recipes and information on the authentic cheese, visit their web site and follow them on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Thank you for supporting the brands I love and use in my kitchen.