Sunday, June 6, 2010

Grilled Vegetable Panzanella

This late spring / early summer salad demands the freshest ingredients. The salad is so simple yet it is bursting with flavours. On a warm night when I don't want to cook in the house, I will grill up some fish or meat and accompany it with this salad. If you toast the bread on the grill outside, you can cook the entire meal without using your oven!

Grilled Vegetable Panzanella

1/4 loaf crusty day old bread, cubed
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 sweet pepper, cut into thirds, seeds removed
3 large leeks, white parts only
1 large bunch asparagus, tough ends removed
1 large bunch basil, chopped
zest and juice of one lemon
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup good quality olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Toss bread with olive oil and toast until dry.
Combine tomatoes and bread in a large bowl.
Cut leeks in half, lengthwise.
Combine leeks, pepper and asparagus and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.
Grill leeks, pepper and asparagus until vegetables are soft. Remove blackened skin from peppers. Chop all vegetables roughly, and toss with bread, tomatoes and basil.
Combine lemon juice, zest, vinegar and olive oil in a separate bowl. Pour half of dressing over salad and toss to combine. Add more dressing, as needed, until salad is dressed to your liking. Adjust seasonings.

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