This Pea Panzanella is adapted slightly from Michael Chiarello's recipe of the Food Network. It has a great, fresh taste and is loaded with healthy ingredients: peas, olive oil, spring greens, and fresh herbs. I hope you like it as much as we did. It's a great dish to serve at a party or just for something different (and vegetarian) for an everyday side dish or main entrée.
- 1/2 Cup Butter (1 stick)
- 3 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
- 1/3 Cup Minced Onion
- 3 Tbsp. Fresh Marjoram, Chopped (or 3 tsp. dried)
- 1 Loaf Italian or French Bread (a day old is best), Cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2/3 Cup Grated Parmesan and Pecorino Romano Cheese Blend
- 5 Tbsp. Fresh Basil, Chopped (or 5 tsp. dried)
- 2 Tbsp. Fresh Green Onion, Chopped (or 3 tsp. dried)
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
- 1 1/2 Cups Frozen Peas
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 2 Tbsp. Butter
- 1/2 Cup Chicken Broth (use Sodium-Free if you can)
- 1/4 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tsp. Lemon Juice
- 1 1/2 Cups Cooked Peas
- 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan and Pecorino Romano Cheese Blend
- 5 Cups Spring Lettuce Greens
- 3 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Once well-melted, add in the garlic and minced onion; stir for 2 minutes. Add in the marjoram and stir well.
2. Place bread cubes in a large bowl. Pour butter mixture over the bread and toss or stir quickly to evenly coat the bread. Stir in the cheese, basil, and green onions. Add a couple pinches of salt and pepper if you desire.
3. Place the bread mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until the bread is lightly browned, about 7-8 minutes (outer bit of bread pieces will be crunchy and middles should still be soft).
1. In a saucepan, over low heat, cook the frozen peas in the milk and butter for about 4-5 minutes.
2. Puree the milk-pea mixture in a blender or a food processor. Slowly add in the chicken broth, olive oil, and lemon juice. Puree until smooth. Cool over an ice bath or in refrigerator.
Combining the Salad:
1. In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes and the pea puree. Stir well to coat the cubes. Stir in the cooked peas and cheese.
2. Use a ring from a 10-inch spring-form pan upside down on a large plate. Fill it with the bread mixture, pressing it down lightly into place. Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes, then remove the ring.
3. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, toss the spring greens with lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle the greens on top of the panzanella. Add grated Parmesan/Pecorino Romano cheese on top. Serve immediately.