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Spring Panzanella Salad


6-8 people


For the croutons:
¼ – ½ cup Italian olive oil
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
7 cups day-old bread (crust removed & cubed)
7 tablespoons of Italian Parmesan (finely grated)
*keep some aside for garnishing
Sprinkle of Sea Salt (season to your liking)
Sprinkle of Ground black pepper (season to your liking)

For the vinaigrette:
1 red onion (finely diced)
2 ½  tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
¼ – ½ cup Italian olive oil
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

For the salad:
4 large leeks
2 teaspoons salt
450g asparagus
350g green beans
550g cannellini beans (rinsed & drained)


1. Preheat oven to 200˚C
2. In a large bowl, mix the garlic, olive oil, Italian parmesan, cubed bread, salt and pepper. Ensure a thorough coating of the bread.
3. Line a tray with baking paper and transfer the bread here. Sprinkle some more salt and pepper as desired.
4. Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes, or, until lightly golden and crisp with a softer center. Stir intermittently to avoid over cooking. Set aside to cool.
5. In another mixing bowl, combine the red onion, vinegar and lemon juice. Set aside for a few minutes to marinate.
6. Whisk in the olive oil and Dijon mustard. Set aside until needed.
7. Rinse and trim the leeks and halve each of them lengthwise.
8. Place leeks in a large skillet, covering with cold water and add salt. Simmer, uncovered, for approximately 15-20 minutes, or, until tender.
9. Transfer leeks to another bowl with ice water to stop cooking. Do not drain the cooking water as you will use this for the asparagus and green beans. Pat the leeks dry with a paper towel.
10. Remove hard ends of asparagus and add to boiling water, along with the green beans. Cook for approximately 3-5 minutes, or, until crisp-tender. Transfer the asparagus and green beans to another bowl of ice water, drain and pat dry.
11. Chop the leeks, asparagus and green beans into 3cm pieces. Be careful when chopping as the vegetables may be slippery to handle.
12. Mix chopped vegetables with the cannellini beans in another large bowl and add the cooled parmesan croutons.
13. Pour your vinaigrette over all ingredients and toss well. Season with salt and pepper, if required