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The Hidden Hostess: Spring Panzanella Salad

Encore Presentation

The Hidden Hostess, Rebecca Elman, shares a recipe for a Spring Panzanella Salad.

Spring Panzanella Salad

Serves 4-6



½ loaf of crusty bread (sourdough, Italian, French)

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Lemon Shallot Dressing:

1 small shallot minced

¼ cup lemon juice

½ cup olive oil

2 teaspoons honey

2 teaspoons Dijon

Salt and pepper


1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and cut into ½ inch pieces

1 cup peas, fresh shelled or thawed frozen

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and sliced on a diagonal into 2 “pieces

1 bunch scallions, minced

1 cup herbs (dill, parsley, mint, or basil), chopped

½ cup ricotta salada, shaved


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking tray with parchment pepper.

Tear your bread into large chunks, drizzle with olive oil salt and pepper.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until bread dries out.  Alternatively use 2-day old bread.

To make the salad dressing: Whisk together the shallot, lemon juice, honey and Dijon. Slowly stream in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt the water. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Blanch the asparagus for 1-2 minutes and put immediately into the ice water bath.  Do the same with the peas.  Drain and set aside.

To assemble: to a large bowl add the bread, cucumber, peas, asparagus, scallions, and chopped herbs. Add the salad dressing and toss until combined.  Let salad sit for 10 minutes.  Mix ricotta salada into the salad before serving.

Rebecca Elman is a personal chef from State College. Through her business, The Hidden Hostess, she offers meal planning, cooking classes, catering services, and much more. Call (646) 318-0825 for more information.

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