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
 
Author:
Serves: serves 2-3 as a side, scale accordingly
Ingredients
  • 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
dressing:
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice & zest of one lemon
  • ½ teaspoon (or so) dijon mustard
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  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.

30 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Emily from louisianabrideblog.com
    04.29.2013

    This sounds so good! I will have to make this over the summer for lunch.

    • jeanine
      04.30.2013

      thanks, me too 🙂

  2. Jenn
    04.29.2013

    This looks absolutely delicious Jeanine! Will be making this asap after spending a week on the road…

  3. Tieghan from halfbakedharvest.com
    04.29.2013

    So pretty!! Loving these ingredients!

  4. This recipe looks delicious! The addition of beans, nuts and cheese make this a complete meal.

  5. Wow! What a beautiful salad – I love all the textures!! You have so many of my favorite foods in there – feta, pine nuts, bread – – – I’ll have to try!!

    • jeanine
      04.30.2013

      Thansk! all of my favorites too…

  6. I really need to make some gluten-free bread and then not actually eat all of it, so I can finally make a panzanella. I have never had it and this looks incredible! Your weekend at the event looked amazing, I was following along on Instagram and was so drooling/jealous.

  7. It is like you read my mind. I was just making one of these spring panzanellas for my blog! Your version looks so healthy and tasty!!

  8. tereza from tarinobambino.blogspot.ca
    04.30.2013

    yum this looks amazing!

  9. Maria from twopeasandtheirpod.com
    04.30.2013

    Love the kale! Perfect lunch!

  10. I’ve never thought to change up a traditional panzanella in this way, but really there’s no reason to only eat it in the summer. Sounds SO good.

  11. Meryl
    05.01.2013

    I’m always on the lookout for creative ways to use kale and this looks absolutely lovely 🙂 Going to have to give this a try soon….

  12. Kathryn from londonbakes.com
    05.01.2013

    What a perfect-sounding salad and a really great balance of flavours.

  13. Sonja from acouplecooks.com
    05.05.2013

    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.

  14. Heather from tastingintandem.wordpress.com
    05.22.2013

    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!

  15. Anna
    09.01.2014

    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
      09.01.2014

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

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.