I've been home on maternity leave since the end of February so to pass the time while Owen is sleeping or eating I've been watching a lot of daytime television. This recipe was featured the end of last month on The Chew from Iron Chef Michael Symon. It is perfect for a side dish or a light dinner with some grilled shrimp or chicken. The different textures and flavors make this a great dish, the bread is warm and crusty, the cheese salty and the grilled asparagus have a caramelized sweet flavor. I made a Greek Panzanella last summer and since then been looking for another version of this kind of salad. Who doesn't like bread & cheese together??!!
1 Loaf Crusty Italian Bread
1 Bunch Asparagus
10 oz Frozen Peas
1 Tsp Honey Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Garlic - Minced
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
3 Tbsp White Vinegar
1/2 lb Hunk of Parmesan Cheese - Diced & Sliced
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cube your Italian bread, drizzle some olive oil over the bread, sprinkle with S&P and toss it all together. Toast the bread in the oven for 10-12 minutes until lightly crisp. While the bread is toasting, quickly blanch the frozen peas so they are ready to toss in the salad later.
Next you can make the vinaigrette. In a large bowl whisk together the minced garlic, honey Dijon mustard, olive oil, s&p. Preheat your outside grill to medium, toss the asparagus stalks in a tiny bit of olive oil with salt & pepper so they don't stick and grill them for about 3 minutes each side.
Take the asparagus off of the grill and dice them up into bite sized pieces. Cut up your hunk of Parmesan cheese and you can begin to assemble the salad.
On top of the vinaigrette pour in your blanched and drained peas, add the Parmesan cheese and your bite sized pieces of asparagus.
Using salad tongs, toss everything together so it is all coated with the vinaigrette mixture. Right before you are ready to serve your salad add the bread and toss it again. This will prevent it from getting too soggy and will give the salad a nice array of textures.
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