Quinoa Panzanella Salad

Quinoa Panzanella Salad

Quinoa Panzanella Salad

I love camping and cooking outdoors, but there is nothing like cleaning up in the middle of a camping trip and heading to a restaurant, to make you really appreciate your creature comforts. A few weeks back, my husband and I were camping with some good friends in the Okanagan and we all decided that it would be a nice break to head off to a winery, taste a bit of wine and eat some lunch. We all jumped in the truck and drove 1 ½ hours down a gravel road to Hester Creek Winery in Oliver, BC and its Tuscan restaurant, “Terrafina”.

Hester Creek Winery

Hester Creek Winery

 

Beautiful patio restaurant at the winery.

Beautiful patio restaurant at the winery.

Beautiful views of the grape vines.

Beautiful views of the grape vines.

Well, we had only been camping for 3 days, but you would think that we had been imprisoned and starved for months, the way that we attacked the menu. Our table of six was oohing and ahhhing at every offering on the menu, creating quite the ruckus.

Hmmm…should we have the wood-oven pizza?

Hmmm…should we have the wood-oven pizza?

After some deliberation, both my husband and I chose the Chef’s Special – a Quinoa, Panzanella Salad, which of course inspired today’s post. This is one of those stick-to-your-ribs-I-must-eat-this-again-salads! It was literally the most jaw-dropping salad I have eaten in years!

In the end, the Quinoa Panzanella Salad won out.

In the end, the Quinoa Panzanella Salad won out.

I have always thought it fun to eat in a restaurant, make note of what I think the ingredients are, and then come home to re-create it. In today’s case I did that,  and put my own spin on it. I really hope you all like this recipe. The list of ingredients is a bit long, but don’t be daunted by that. I have made this 2 times now and both times it has been a raving hit. Honestly, my mouth still waters when I think of it! (Pardon my modesty!)

I am taking an overflowing bowl of this salad to Angie’s Fiesta Friday tonight. I know that everyone there will enjoy this robust dish. To all of my Italian friends who attend FF, I know this salad is probably not at all the traditional bread salad you make, but I have noticed that there are many variations of the recipe in books and on the internet and now, well, here is another one!

Our dear host, Angie is off on vacation this week, so we are very lucky tonight to have our lovely Aussie co-host team, comprised of Saucy @ Saucy Gander and Margot @ Gather and Graze.  These ladies are one class act and they do know how to party!  So who’s wearing the most sparking gown? Edna? Madge?  Let’s head on over and find out!

Here is my re-creation of the salad.

Here is my re-creation of the salad.

Quinoa Panzanella Salad

  • Servings: 6 meal-sized servings
  • Print

Ingredients:

6 cups salad greens

1 ½ cups cooked quinoa

1 large carrot, julienned

1½ cups grape tomaotes

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed

1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh basil

¼ cup sundried tomatoes (oil packed) drained on paper towels

½ cup sliced black olives

½ cup sliced green olives

freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 loaf Focaccia bread (or another rustic bread)

For the bread:

1/3 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 teaspoon dried basil

Dressing:

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

2 heaping tablespoons basil pesto

1 tablespoon honey

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Preheat oven to 400° F.

In a small bowl, toss grape tomatoes with a bit of olive oil. Place on a parchment covered baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Roast for about 10 minutes, just until the skins begin to wrinkle. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Tear the loaf of bread into big bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl with the oil, garlic and dried basil. Toss so that the pieces of bread are nicely coated. Place on a parchment covered baking sheet and put in oven to toast lightly. When the bread is lightly golden, remove from the oven and set aside.

Place all of the salad dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until incorporated. Remove to a serving container.

Place all of the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Add the tomatoes and bread pieces. Toss with some of the dressing.

Divide salad among the plates. Pass extra Parmesan cheese and dressing. Crack open a bottle of crisp, cold rosé (we drank some of Hester Creek’s) and break into song, preferably something Italian!

Crack open a wonderful bottle of Rosé to go with this salad.

Crack open a wonderful bottle of Rosé to go with this salad!

69 Responses to “Quinoa Panzanella Salad”

  1. Patty Nguyen

    That view! That pizza! That salad! Don’t worry, Julianna. Camping is hard work and not for the faint of heart! I love your take on panzanella. I don’t think I’ve met a variation of panzanella that I didn’t love! Delish!

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Oh thanks so much Patty! You know, I stayed away from bread salads for years, but I didn’t know what I was missing! I think I have found a new favourite! Thanks for popping in, Patty! 😀

      Reply
  2. A Home Cook

    Mmmmm. Love salads at the best of times, and this looks delectable. The quinoa makes it really interesting: it’s not something you would ever expect from an Italian restaurant.

    Reply
  3. Margot @ Gather and Graze

    Awww, what an intro you’ve given us Julianna! Thanks so much! Saucy and I will try our very best to uphold the fine quality of the co-hosts that have gone before us! 😉
    I can fully relate to the joy you felt in re-finding the civilised world (and a delightful winery restaurant at that!) after days of roughing it in the camping ground. Your fresh, flavoursome salad looks amazing and the dressing (with basil pesto and honey) sounds to die for! Thanks so much for bringing this to the Fiesta #27… I’m now going to grab a plate, before it all disappears!

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Well thanks so much for being such a great co-host! I must say that you look divine in your sparkles!! Here, let me serve you a big plate of this salad! You will need to keep your energy up with this rowdy crowd! 😀

      Reply
  4. Hilda

    What a gorgeous salad, and one I can make from many of my garden vegetables which are finally ripening. Beautiful pictures of the winery too, but then that is to be expected in BC. Have a lovely weekend.

    Reply
  5. Ngan R.

    Both the scenery and the food look great, as does this salad, Julianna. What a terrific combination of ingredients and flavors. Loving your header image, too! Also, though it has nothing to do with this post, but it’s on my mind and I wanted to mention to you: Ottolenghi has Plenty More coming out in October! I’m so excited! Happy FF!

    Reply
  6. chefjulianna

    So glad you like the look of the salad and my new header, Ngan. What? “Plenty More”? Oh, you have just made my day! I can’t wait! I’ll have to pre-order one or camp out at the book store on the release date! 🙂 We can compare notes then!

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Thanks Naina! Yes, Marielle did a wonderful job on the header. I have waited a long time to get it done, but I am so happy with it. She is an amazing artist! 😀

      Reply
  7. Selma's Table

    What a beautiful place – I am not surprised that you all fell upon the food -it all sounds absolutely delicious! I love a panzella salad – the ingredients in your salad sound mouth watering and I would love a big bowl please!! Noticed that you have a new header – Miss Beretta by any chance? It’s fab. Happy Fiesta Friday!

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Yes, it was a bit of a feeding frenzy at the restaurant! And you have a very good eye! Ms. Beretta did this beautiful header for me! That girl is just oozing with talent! I am so happy with her work! 😀

      Reply
  8. Fae's Twist & Tango

    – First, I love your new header artwork! 🙂 Or, was it always there and I didn’t notice it before? 😦 Does the caricature resembles you?
    – What a wonderful outing, especially that you were served. 😀 Quinoa panzanella salad… 😛

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Thanks Fae! Yes the header has only been there for a few days now and I am so happy with it. The character only resembles me in spirit! 🙂 Oh, you would have just loved this salad – but hey, now you can make a good version of it at home too! 😀

      Reply
  9. saucygander

    Ooh this looks like the most awesome salad!! It’s full of my favourite Italian summery flavours, and so colourful too. Well done for recreating a restaurant dish and putting your own spin on it, and thank you for also sharing this wonderful recipe with FF! I hope you are enjoying the party, this seems to be a dress up week! 😉

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Oh, thanks so much, Saucy! And yes, I am really enjoying the soiree! You and Margot make the best dressed team I have ever witnessed! Simply gorgeous, the both of you! We must do this more often, don’t you think? 🙂

      Reply
  10. lisa

    Love your story. How true that when you are “roughing it” out camping that you appreciate a restaurant so much more! This recipe looks very tasty and most of the ingredients I have in my garden. Thanks for sharing. Happy FF!

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Thanks Lisa! Funny thing though, I used to camp a lot and it never used to affect me that way! Maybe this time because we didn’t have access to showers and running water it made it really different! Anyway, the winery and restaurant were awesome! 😀

      Reply
  11. flavourphotos

    This salad looks so tasty. And the view of the grape vines is just amazing! I love the way you’ve got all the different lines coming together from different angles. Great shot!

    Reply
  12. Liz

    I really love your salad recipes. They are so unique and tasty looking. I love the combination of ingredients in this one.

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Oh, thanks so much, Liz! I really appreciate that, especially coming from you! You make some very amazing salads yourself! 😀

      Reply
  13. Sue

    Yikes I’m dying here over those gorgeous lavender plants, the expansive green lawn and the vineyards. Nice trip! I love this wonderful, healthy salad, too. Very summery and thanks for bringing!

    Reply
  14. petra08

    Oh, this salad looks so good. I love the sound of the caper and the olives, I have to try it! 🙂 Yum!

    Reply
  15. Jhuls

    Wow! That view is so beautiful, Chef Julianna. The pizza and that salad of yours – delish much!

    Btw, just when did this header showed up? I haven’t been around for a long time, have I? The header looks fab. 😀

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      I’m with you, Suchitra! Quinoa is finding its way into so many dishes that I cook these days! Thanks so much for stopping by! 😀

      Reply
  16. Aditi

    What a lovely salad! We love panzanella too! 😀 Those pictures are also great. And that header- lovely!

    Reply

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