This delicious Asparagus and Tomato Panzanella Salad comes together with just a few simple ingredients! It’s a healthy and delicious salad you will love all summer long!
This past spring Mr. Maebell and I packed our bags, passport in hand and headed to the airport! Our destination: Italy! To say we were thrilled would be an understatement.
Without a doubt, we had been looking forward to this trip for ages and were so ready to immerse ourselves in the culture and the food of Italy! We made it through security in under 15 minutes and as soon as we got to the gate I said, “Well, that was easy!” That is when things got interesting.
Of course, our flight out of Nashville was delayed, which meant we would be landing when our next flight was taking off. At first, I didn’t panic; airlines have to reevaluate things all the time, right? I spent the next two hours standing at the desk as a wonderfully patient and kind American Airlines worker tried everything possible to get us on another flight, but despite her best efforts, things were not looking good.
Finally, they were able to rebook us on new flights the following day, and we spent a morning in Frankfurt, Germany en route to Rome. Had you asked me 48 hours before if I would be traveling to Germany, I would have said definitely not. It’s funny how life just kind of happens, isn’t it?
Olive Oil for Tomato Salad
Despite our rocky start, we did make it to Italy and it was worth the wait! We saw the Colosseum in Rome, the black sand beaches of the Almafi Coast, the ruins of Pompeii, the wonders of Venice and even the Italian Alps.
The particular memory I will carry from our time abroad is definitely the food! We enjoyed extraordinary pizza, authentic pasta, caprese salads, and tiramisu to die for! Authentic Italian food is one of the best things on earth, in my humble opinion.
Luckily, I won’t have to travel back to Italy to find authentic olive oil! HemisFares, a great new brand at your local Kroger, has sourced some of the most flavorful estate-grown olive oil. This oil features Nocellara del Belice olives grown and harvested by the same family for over 100 years, available only from the province of Trapani in Sicily.
What really makes this olive oil stand out is that it is cold-pressed within eight hours of being picked. This oil also has notes of artichokes and almonds and a peppery finish that’s perfect for dipping, cooking and finishing. We use this oil regularly in our house!
I used this rich olive oil to create a delicious panzanella salad. If you have never had a panzanella salad, it is a traditional Tuscan salad that mixes chunks of bread, vegetables, fresh mozzarella and an olive oil based dressing together to create a refreshing salad you will love! This salad makes an impressive side dish but is hearty enough to be a healthy dinner as well.
Ingredients for Asparagus and Tomato Salad
- Asparagus- I trimmed my asparagus and cut it into thirds. This makes it the perfect length for your fork.
- Cherry tomatoes- I cut mine in half for this recipe.
- Fresh Mozzarella- I do not recommend using a shredded mozzarella here. The fresh mozzarella works very well when it’s cut into cubes for this recipe.
- Bread- I used a gluten free loaf and cut it into cubes for this recipe. Feel free to use whatever bread you prefer.
- Fresh basil- I highly recommend using fresh basil leaves for this recipe. Simply slice them up!
- HemisFares FIND NO. 48 – 100% Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Unfiltered)- you will love this flavorful oil!
- Lemon juice- fresh or bottled are both fine here.
- Dijon mustard- I prefer a high quality mustard, especially with the level of ingredients already present in this recipe.
- Salt- table salt, sea salt or kosher salt are all fine. I personally used kosher salt.
- Pepper- fresh ground pepper really gives this salad a great kick!
How do I make Panzanella Salad?
First, boil your asparagus in a large pot of salted water for about one and a half minutes and drain. At this time, we combine the lightly cooked chopped asparagus spears, fresh tomatoes, and mozzarella in a large bowl. Next, take a good crusty bread (I used a gluten free version, but any kind of sourdough, ciabatta or baguette would work) and drizzling with HemisFares FIND NO. 48 – 100% Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Unfiltered) and grilling over medium heat until lightly toasted.
After your bread is toasted, cut it into cubes. Add to your bowl of asparagus, tomatoes and mozzarella and toss to combine. Finally we make a flavor packed basil vinaigrette using a little lemon juice, dijon mustard, spices, basil and of course, HemisFares 100% Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil! Last but not least, just hand-toss your salad until combined and serve.
Can I make this asparagus salad ahead of time?
You can prep parts of this salad beforehand, but I wouldn’t fully assemble this until you are ready to serve. The dressing can easily be made up to a week ahead of time (and it’s fantastic on other salads throughout the week!). I love to have some on hand whenever I’m craving some Italian memories.
You could grill the bread up to one day before, as well as combine the asparagus and tomatoes in a bowl. However, I would not add the mozzarella or grilled bread to the salad until you are ready to serve. This helps keep the mozzarella fresh and stops the bread from getting soggy!
More Easy Summer Dishes:
You probably don’t want to spend these bright, sunny days in the kitchen! Instead, try some of these simple-yet-impressive dishes so you can enjoy your company and this beautiful weather. Here are some of my favorites:
- Strawberry Goat Cheese Bites
- Sparkling Pineapple Strawberry Punch
- Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries (keto & low carb!)
- Mediterranean Hummus Tostadas
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut in thirds
- 3 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup fresh Mozzarella, cubed
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup packed basil leaves, sliced
- 2 cups of cubed bread (I used gluten free bread)
- 1/4 cup HemisFares FIND NO. 48 – 100% Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Unfiltered) for the dressing + 2 tablespoons of olive oil for the bread
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Boil asparagus in a large pot of salted water for 1 1/2 minutes, or until fork tender. Be careful not to overcook!
- Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Add the asparagus, tomatoes, mozzarella into a large bowl.
- Drizzle the bread with HemisFares FIND NO. 48 – 100% Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Unfiltered) and grill over medium heat until lightly toasted.
- Cut into cubes and add to the asparagus and tomato mixture.
- In a small bowl or mixing cup combine the basil, 1/4 cup HemisFares olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and salt and pepper.
- Mix well until everything is combined and pour over salad ingredients.
- Toss to coat.
- Serve immediately.
**If making this ahead of time just wait to add the grilled bread and mozzarella immediately before serving
Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 569Total Fat: 43.2gCholesterol: 53.3mgSodium: 704mgCarbohydrates: 26.9gNet Carbohydrates: 22.1gFiber: 4.8gSugar: 7.2gProtein: 19.9g