Springtime Panzanella Salad

springtime panzanella

Classic panzanella is made with bread and fresh ripe tomatoes and it’s a very popular dish to make in the summertime when tomatoes are at their peak. My springtime panzanella salad presented here, which is obviously a twist on the classic, highlights peak season asparagus and other spring produce that is available now.

This version features some cooked vegetables as well as raw, a dreamy vinaigrette made with a good quality olive oil and of course crispy chunks of toasted bread throughout.

springtime panzanella

This spring green version is crisp and light, it’s hearty enough to stand alone or pretty enough to be side by side next to the perfect main of your choice. So you might want to consider this for your next party , picnic or BBQ.

springtime panzanella

Grab a baguette, slice it up and toss with olive oil, a little salt and pepper and a touch of granulated garlic, place into a hot oven until nice and crispy, then break it into crispy chunks so you can scatter throughout the salad.

This springtime panzanella salad is filled with fresh asparagus that has been blanched and thrown into an ice bath then completely padded dry, ribbons of yellow squash made with a vegetable peeler, english cucumber slices, chunks of orange pepper, red onion, defrosted peas or fresh, radish slices, sliced cherry tomatoes, a handful of arugula topped with shaved parmigiano reggiano and fresh basil.

No need for exact measurements, depending on the size of your platter just fill it with the above mentioned ingredients placed evenly all around. You can easily add, remove or change up some of the ingredients and customize it to  your own personal liking, even changing up the bread if you so desire.

springtime panzanella

Now let’s talk about the vinaigrette, I like to make it in a small mason jar by adding 1 part red wine vinegar to 3 parts of your best olive oil, add in 1 teaspoon of mayo (yes mayo) a pinch of oregano, salt and pepper then shake, shake, shake.  That’s it! Just spoon it all over and serve immediately.

Serve this up to your family and friends with all the seasonal veggies that are available right now and enjoy every bite!

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Easter Dinner Side Dishes

antipasto salad

With Easter right around the corner no doubt you have your main course already planned out but there’s always room for more sides! The side dishes are always my best loved part of the meal and the more the merrier!

I’m posting a few of my favorite side dishes here today with a variety of different flavors that would go perfect with the mains of your choice.

This Antipasto Salad is all things good on a platter, it’s a definite crowd pleaser that was inspired by my friend Stacey years ago.

roasted carrots

Roasted Carrots and Shallots with Olives and Gremolata, the gremolata gives the carrots and shallots a depth of flavor that makes the whole dish pop.

spring veggies in parmesan cream

Spring Vegetables in Parmesan Lemon Cream Sauce, because it’s always nice to have something creamy and elegant at the table.

orzo pasta

Orzo Pasta with Artichoke Hearts and Roasted Tomatoes, all mixed together with creamy parmesan cheese, so delicious and easy to serve.

 

peas and asparagus

Roasted Asparagus with Peas, no recipe needed just roast your asparagus and use fresh or defrosted frozen peas, then drizzle with a dressing of lemon and olive oil with lots of lemon zest, perfect for spring!

stuffed artichokes

Stuffed Artichokes, this is hands down our number one family favorite!

spring salad

Spring Salad with Asparagus, Goat Cheese, Lemon and Hazelnuts, this salad makes a beautiful centerpiece and tastes amazing!

spring pasta salad

Spring Pasta Salad, a pasta salad that screams spring with ribbons of zucchini and pretty farfalloni.

side dish

Special Occasion Side Dish, I call it this because it’s always been a staple throughout the years in my family, I serve it with almost everything, including pasta dishes.

farro salad

Loaded Farro Salad, chewy farro loaded with roasted vegetables, a side with great flavor and texture to grace your Easter table.

I hope you choose one of these different side dish options to round out your Easter feast!

 

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Triple Zested Ricotta Cookies

triple zested ricotta cookies

Zesty and soft with a cake like texture these triple zested ricotta cookies will be your new favorite. What I love about ricotta cookies is that you can adapt them to any holiday or special occasion by changing up the frosting and sprinkles, but in general most ricotta cookies are lemon flavored.

This version has a little twist to it, they’re infused with the brightness of lemon, lime and orange zest inside and out, so they’re perfect to serve for your spring and summer parties as well as the Easter holiday which is right around the corner.

citrus zest

There’s nothing like the smell of freshly zested citrus, it screams springtime to me which is very welcoming after a long cold winter.

ricotta cookies

Ricotta cookies are surprisingly easy to make, not a lot of ingredients either which is a good thing, and everyone seems to gobble them up when they’re sitting out on a platter, they’re just irresistible!

triple zested ricotta cookies

With each bite you’ll taste a rich burst of citrus flavor because the zest is in the dough as well as the frosting which gets brushed on top.

 

triple zested ricotta cookiestriple zested ricotta cookies

Think wedding and baby showers, Mother’s Day, graduations, picnics, family gatherings and holidays, these ricotta cookies will fit right in for those special occasions.

triple zested ricotta cookiestriple zested ricotta cookies

I would say that these triple zested ricotta cookies are destined to become your new favorite cookie once you try them!

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5.0 from 3 reviews
Triple Zested Ricotta Cookies
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • orange, lime and lemon zest about 2 tablespoons each
  • 1 cup, ricotta (dry and drained of moisture. Instead of deli style look for a good brand that's packed in a container that you can buy in the refrigerated section because they're usually dryer in texture)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • FROSTING
  • lemon juice
  • 1 cup, powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Mix the zest together.
  2. Heat oven to 350F. and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  3. In a large bowl add the ricotta, softened butter, sugar, vanilla, salt and egg, mix them together on low speed until incorporated.
  4. In a smaller bowl add the flour and baking soda, use a whisk and incorporate by hand.
  5. Now on low speed add the flour mixture to the ricotta mixture making sure all is incorporated.
  6. Add in 1 tablespoon of the zest to the mixture and blend til it's throughout the dough.
  7. Take a teaspoon size piece of dough and roll it into a ball like a meatball and place onto the parchment lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake for ten minutes on lower rack then pull them out of the oven and take the back side of a flat spatula and gently press down on the tops, this is not necessary but my preference because it gives a nice surface for the frosting.
  9. Then place them back into the oven on the upper rack for 3 more minutes, make sure bottoms are nicely golden.
  10. Take them out and let them cool completely on a rack before frosting.
  11. FROSTING
  12. Mix the powdered sugar with lemon juice until you have the right consistency then take a pastry brush and brush each cookie one by one with the frosting, then sprinkle a pinch of the tripled zests that you mixed together on the tops of each cookie. Repeat until they're all frosted, one by one.
  13. Let them set for a couple of hours so frosting can dry, store in an airtight container between waxed paper. You can also freeze them, this recipe makes around 30 cookies.
  14. Feel free to double or triple the recipe!

 

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