Crowd-Pleasing Caprese Panzanella Salad
Spring for me is all about making the best use of delicious, fresh greens that are just coming into season. There's something about spring salads that say renewal to me – and they're great for sharing!?Salads in my house are usually considered to be a side dish, so you can appreciate that I'm kind of breaking house rules by presenting a salad for dinner. Seriously though, this thing is a real crowd pleaser!?
This Caprese Panzanella Salad can be enjoyed as a delicious weeknight entree or a welcome addition to a social gathering – it combines a delicious, classic caprese flavour profile with basil, balsamic, cherry tomatoes and bocconcini cheese, and boy is it good!
This salad is a simple, delicious combination of spring greens with an easy peasy balsamic dressing. I recently read somewhere that the perfect salad dressing combines an oil, an acid, an emulsifier and sometimes a sweetener – consider using grapeseed, olive or sunflower oils, along with a citrus juice like lemon juice, or balsamic and red wine vinegar. Honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar are all healthier, natural sweeteners that are my first choice for dressings. Emulsifiers from my understanding are what actually mixes the oils and acids together, such as Dijon mustard, sour cream or even mashed avocado.
I've been using any excuse I can get to use the grill more and more, and I slowly think I'm starting to get better at it. I don't mean to brag or anything, but just look at those grill marks!? So far, I've found it helpful to preheat my BBQ to medium-high heat for a good five minutes before adding any sort of protein, and I also try to avoid moving whatever is on the grill for a good 8-10 minutes so that the char marks can sink in. It depends of course on what you're cooking, and there's just something different about barbecued chicken that adds a whole different level of deliciousness to this salad!
One of the reasons I love this salad is because it relies on very simple, seasonal flavours like fresh herbs and peppery greens – you don't need to use a lot of oil or spices, and can simply rely on the fresh spring produce to bring a pop of flavour to the meal.?