One of the cool things about food blogging is that it forces us to discover new ingredients, new techniques, new dishes. We had no idea what panzanella was until recently. If you would have asked me, I would have probably answered that it’s some type of pasta from Italy or some kind of pancetta. No, in fact Panzanella is a Tuscan salad with a base of croutons and tomato chunks. It’s a simple dish but really flavorful. If you like tomato bruschetta, then you’ll probably like it, it’s exactly the same but in a salad form.
Kale is also an ingredient that we recently discovered. It’s been popular for a long time now but we never really jumped in. It’s actually quite tasty, not overly bitter and slightly briny. To make this kale panzanella, I marinated kale and onions for about half an hour to help reducing the rawness. The next big thing is the chopped bread or croutons. Stale bread is traditionally used but we were too eager to try the salad that we could not wait for our homemade loaf to go stale. The croutons are tossed with an olive oil that I infused with garlic and marjoram.
The result is crunchy and juicy salad that is not only delicious but very healthy.
- 6 cups chopped organic kale (stems removed)
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 3 cups chopped bread
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp + extra olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed (optional)
- 1 bunch marjoram (optional)
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper (to taste). Add chopped kale and sliced red onion. Coat evenly and set aside.
- (Optional) In a small pan on medium heat, fry marjoram and garlic with some olive oil for about 5 minutes until garlic start to crisp up. Strain and reserve oil for the next step.
- In a large baking pan, lay pieces of bread, drizzle with olive oil (or infused oil), add a pinch of salt and pepper. Coat evenly and bake for about 15 minutes until crispy and slightly golden.
- In a small pan, toast pine nuts for about 5 minutes on medium heat until starting to color.
- Allow bread and pine nuts to cool down then mix with kale along with tomatoes.