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Meatless Monday Week 5

Meatless Monday Week 5: Summer Panzanella Salad

This week’s recipe comes to us from long-time REVERB volunteer and Executive Chef at La Colombe, Jim Berman. You may very well have met Jim and his family at one of the countless shows they volunteer at with REVERB every summer.

Thanks for the recipe, Jim!!!

Summer Panzanella Salad (serves 2):

PanzanellaFocaccia bread

8 each, asparagus

2 Tablespoons, olive oil

1/2 cup, basil leaves

1 big beefsteak tomato

Red onion for pickling

1/3 cup, extra virgin olive oil


6 oz ricotta cheese

1/4 cup, balsamic reduction

1/2 cup, blueberries


  • Cut focaccia into 1″ cubes, enough to yield 2 cups. Place on a tray and allow to stale a bit. Can be done the night before.
  • Trim the woody end from the asparagus and toss with olive oil. Roast in a screaming-hot oven until gently charred. Can be done on a grill, as well. Set aside.
  • Tear the basil leaves; set aside.
  • Large dice the tomatoes, approximately 1″; set aside.
  • If inclined, pickle the red onion in thin slices; optional, for sure.
  • Toss the bread with the olive oil, tomatoes, basil, a few pickled onion slices. Season with salt. Don’t be afraid.
  • Spoon a ‘swoosh’ of the ricotta on the bottom of the plate. Feel free to whip the cheese with some lemon zest or some pesto. Place the asparagus on the ricotta swoosh. Top with the bread mixture. Drizzle with the balsamic; store-bought is totally fine or make your own (equal parts sugar and balsamic allowed to simmer until thickened. White balsamic is a winner!)
  • Garnish with the berries.