Nothing beats a spring salad filled with meat, cheese, olives and homemade croutons made with lemon zest and olive oil.  This Bon Appetit test kitchen recipe for Radicchio, Fennel, and Olive Panzanella is easily a main course lunch or an indulgent dinner starter or side.

I served this at a recent family birthday dinner and received rave reviews. While you might think that the radicchio and fennel are mere bystanders in this crazy bowl of goodness, there just for show, they are more than that. They provide a crunchy bite to the mix of salty and rich ingredients.  And they don’t wilt, making this a dish that you can make ahead of time or enjoy as leftovers.  Also, the shallot lemon vinaigrette is superb and a balancing element.

Last Sunday, we arrived back from Florida to sunny skies after a 9 day trip.  While we had an amazing trip that was filled with lots of pool and beach time, an airboat ride through the everglades, and a visit to a small animal park where the kids got to hold baby alligators (in case you were wondering mommy chose to just watch and not hold!), we were thrilled to see Spring on the east coast.  The kids have been outside non-stop this weekend, and the grill is officially back in use.  Bring on the outside BBQ at the du Ponts!

As of this week, I have officially become a NYC commuter again.  And while the commute royally sucks and I miss having breakfast with my kids, I have to admit that I am loving riding in with the hubby each morning, and the city vibe just can’t be beat.  It feels good to be back.

Radicchio, Fennel and Olive Panzanella
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 6 ounces country-style bread, torn into bite-size pieces (about 4 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 small head radicchio, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves with tender stems
  • ½ cup green olives, pitted, halved
  • 3 ounces aged sheep's-milk cheese (such as Manchego), shaved
  • 3 ounces hard salami, thinly sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss bread with lemon zest and ¼ cup oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Bake, tossing occasionally, until crisp on the outside but still chewy in the center, 8–10 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Whisk shallot, lemon juice, vinegar, and oregano in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Whisk in remaining ¼ cup oil.
  3. Add radicchio, fennel, parsley, olives, cheese, salami, and bread to dressing; toss to combine.
  4. DO AHEAD: Salad can be dressed the night before. Cover and chill.





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