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. Kathryn from londonbakes.com

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

  2. Meryl

    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….

  3. 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.

  4. Maria from twopeasandtheirpod.com

    Love the kale! Perfect lunch!

  5. tereza from tarinobambino.blogspot.ca

    yum this looks amazing!

  6. 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!!

  7. 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.

  8. 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

      Thansk! all of my favorites too…

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

  10. Tieghan from halfbakedharvest.com

    So pretty!! Loving these ingredients!

  11. Jenn

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

    • jeanine

      thanks, me too 🙂

  12. Emily from louisianabrideblog.com

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

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.