Erin’s Spring Panzanella with Fresh Peas and Fennel

Healthy spring panzanella -

I’d almost forgotten how much I enjoy live music. Isn’t that terrible? I just don’t keep up with shows that come through town because I don’t have a default music buddy to go with me. Last night, Jordan texted me as I was photographing this salad with a super last-minute, free ticket to see Ok Go. Since I’m “the friend who’s up for anything!” I drove right there to meet them. And it was AWESOME.

Few sights fill me with more glee than watching others jam out in their own element, and Ok Go really jammed out. The visuals! The dancing! The brilliant, unique, goofy determination and talent behind it all! That’s self-actualization at its finest, not to mention most entertaining. I loved every minute of it.

spring panzanella ingredients

I experience the same tizzy awe every time I crack open a book created by a friend. The newest arrival is The Easy Vegetarian Kitchen by Erin Alderson of Naturally Ella. It’s a cookbook that offers fifty base recipes, each with four seasonal variations, for a total of two hundred. Erin is a recipe-creating machine and I love having a tangible copy of her hard work.

Erin asked me to help her test out the recipes for this book last year and this salad was one of them. Now that I can share it with the world, I just couldn’t resist. This spring panzanella features fresh greens, raw peas (which are really good!) and pea shoots (found at Trader Joe’s), thinly sliced fennel and freshly baked, whole grain croutons tossed in a lemony dressing. Her final recipe calls for minced garlic scapes, which are green onion-like shoots that grow out of garlic if you let them. I used pressed garlic instead. Congrats on a job well done, Erin!

Continue to the recipe…

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