It’s March now and I’m SO ready for spring! And of course, just as I had decided winter was over, Mother Nature goes and dumps a whole bunch of snow all over the Twin Cities. The cold is back. And although I know it will be short lived, it is still a bitter pill to swallow. Since I really needed a bit of spring, I decided it was time to make a great salad. You won’t believe what leftovers you can use to create something entirely new. Chimichurri Panzanella Salad with White Beans is a bit of spring on a plate.
So what makes a great salad? For me, it is SO much more than the lettuce. Panzanella is a traditional bread salad, but the way that I made my Chimichurri Panzanella Salad with White Beans, is anything but traditional.
I first chose a crusty sourdough bread and tore it into bite site pieces. Tomatoes were a given as their juices make the crusty bread softer and so flavorful. Thinly sliced onion-check! I always like a little protein, so I added a few spoonfuls of Lemony White Beans that I had in my refrigerator marinating for the book club I am hosting tonight. (I always love it when I can repurpose a great dish!) Finishing it off -a few crumbles of creamy goat cheese to give my salad some varied texture.
So what about a dressing for this salad? I love herbs. Tons of herbs. And if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times-chimichurri, which highlights so many of my favorite herbs, is my favorite condiment. Why then, wouldn’t it make the perfect dressing for MY Chimichurri Panzanella Salad with White Beans? Especially since I have a jar of it in my refrigerator to use with a tenderloin crostini I’m serving at Book Club tonight! (Truly-new uses for great dishes are the BEST!).
Trust me, this isn’t just another boring salad. Not even close.
So if you don’t have any lemony white beans or chimichurri sitting in your refrigerator-no problem. When you make them for the salad, you can also pick up a flank steak and make Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce for dinner. Then you can invite your neighbors over for a glass of wine and serve a charcuterie tray featuring your left over Lemony White Beans. Who says I can’t meal plan (well…me. And my family. I’m working on that whole meal planning thing. Maybe someday. Like when the kids go off to college.)
You’ll probably want to Pin this Chimichurri Panzanella Salad with White Beans to your favorite Pinterest Board. Click on the corner of the photo below!
Chimichurri Panzanella Salad with White Beans
- For the SALAD:
- 2 cups spinach/arugula mix
- 2 cups crusty sourdough bread torn into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes halved or quartered
- 1 Tablespoon red onion thinly sliced
- 3 Tablespoons Lemony White Beans
- 2 Tablespoons Chimichurri Sauce
- 1 ounce goat cheese crumbled
- LEMONY WHITE BEANS:
- 1 15 ounce can cannelini beans drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup red onion minced
- ¼ cup pecorino cheese grated + additional for garnish
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- CHIMICHURRI SAUCE:
- 1 cup Italian parsley leaves
- 1 cup cilantro leaves
- ½ cup basil leaves
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
To Make the LEMONY WHITE BEANS:
In a medium sized bowl, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Add white beans, onions and pecorino and coat with the lemony marinade.
Marinade at least 2 hours before using.
Store in a glass container in the refrigeratort.
To Make the CHIMICHURRI SAUCE:
Place 4 cloves of garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until minced.
Add the parsley, cilantro and basil to the food processor and process until herbs form a paste.
Add rice wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce and pulse to combine.
Slowly add 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil to food processor with motor running to form the sauce.
If sauce is too thick, slowly add olive oil tablespoon by tablespoon until desired consistency.
Transfer sauce to a glass jar to store.
Keep in the refrigerator until needed.
To make the CHMICHURRI PANZANELLA SALAD WITH WHITE BEANS:
Preheat oven to 250ºF.
Tear sourdough into bite sized pieces and spread on a baking sheet.
Bake sourdough pieces for 15-20 minutes until crusty (but not hard).
In a bowl, layer spinach/arugula mix, tomatoes, red onions, lemony white beans and goat cheese.
Dress with Chimichurri Sauce.
The recipe for Chimichurri Sauce is adapted from Weber’s Real Grilling by Jamie Purveyance (yep-I have the original one!).
And last but not least, a snap of this Chimichurri Panzanella Salad with White Beans in the bowl I had to transfer it to so I could eat it without it ending up all over me! So much goodness in one bowl!