Spring Kale Panzanella

spring kale panzanella

This very green salad couldn’t be more timely. Jack and I spent all weekend tasting inhaling food at the Austin Food & Wine fest. And then we spent last night in some sort of food coma. Overall, I think we showed pretty good restraint… That is until Saturday night’s “Rock your Taco” event. We rocked tacos alright… And then a few tacos rocked us.

But no regrets… kale to the rescue. A big bowl of it. This salad is part marinated kale and part and panzanella. Two of my favorite salads, together as one. Kale, fennel slices, peas and feta are all tossed with a lemony dijon vinaigrette. With ciabatta cubes to soak it up.

This is great as a light dinner on it’s own, or perfect alongside some grilled salmon.

spring kale panzanella

spring kale panzanella

Serves: serves 2-3 as a side, scale accordingly
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced fennel, plus some chopped fronds
  • ½ cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1.5 cups stale bread (ciabatta or similar), cubed
  • ¼ cup peas
  • ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled or cubed (omit if vegan)
  • a few toasted pine nuts, optional
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice & zest of one lemon
  • ½ teaspoon (or so) dijon mustard
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing.
  2. In a large bowl, place the kale and fennel. Pour in some of the dressing, and a bit of salt. Using your hands, massage the kale together with the dressing so that the coarse kale leaves become a bit tender. Toss in the fennel and white beans, and let that all marinate together for 15-30 minutes.
  3. Toss everything else into the bowl including the remainder of the dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings. This is best if you let it sit at room temp for 20 (or more) minutes.


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Anna

    Delicious! I’d never used fennel before (because I don’t like anise cookies or the like), so thanks for the introduction to something new! Maybe I’ll try to grow some…

    • jeanine

      So glad you liked it! I don’t like anise flavors in sweet things either (but I love fennel obviously!)

  2. Heather from tastingintandem.wordpress.com

    Made this for dinner last night, it was amazing! Left out the peas and used ricotta salata instead of feta. We served it with grilled shrimp. Thanks for the unique idea!

  3. Sonja from acouplecooks.com

    This sounds really amazing, Jeanine. And, I love the plate! I’m not sure I’ve seen you use that color before, but it looks gorgeous.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.