For the fact that spring is FINALLY here! And boy, she came full force. We were lucky enough here in the Midwest, to be blessed with 70-degree weather.
The sun was shinning.
Not a cloud in the sky.
I was one happy gal.
To top it all off, my fiancé whipped dinner together, complete with my first margarita of the season! Spoiled. Grilled steaks, sweet potatoes and a simple veggie side is his specialty. I was in pure bliss.
Since spring is here, that automatically means, at least in my kitchen, to immediately transition to oven-less and cooking-free side dishes and more time spent outside around the grill. My kinda night.
I became obsessed with panzanella salad’s a few summers back when I was lucky enough to have a coworker with her own garden with way too many tomatoes on her hands. I gladly told her I would take them off her hands. Let me tell you…ample amounts of fresh salsa and panzanella salads were happening around our house. Not.One.Complaint.
A new year. A new panzanella salad!
Fresh strawberries replace the tomatoes in my version of a panzanella salad. Balsamic vinegar brightens the strawberries and enhances their sweet flavor. If you have yet to try vinegar and berries, you are going to fall in love.
Honey goat cheese…I couldn’t stop nibbling on it. Sweet, salty and creamy bring all the flavors and textures together.
Spring, so glad you finally showed up. I made you an addicting strawberry salad to celebrate!
- 4 cups sliced strawberries
- 4 cups cubed Baguette
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 oz honey goat cheese, crumbled
- 20 fresh basil leaves
- Balsamic Vinegar Syrup OR ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a parchment lined baking sheet, place the cubed bread and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place in oven and bake until golden brown, about 15 – 20 minutes, depending on the size of your bread cubes. Every 5 minutes or so, shake around the pan to ensure even browning.
- If choosing to make balsamic drizzle, while croutons are baking, in a small saucepan, bring vinegar to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes or until liquid has reduced by half and is syrupy. Remove from heat, and add to a small bowl and allow to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine bread, strawberries, goat cheese and basil. Toss gently. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and serve immediately.