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”.
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.
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!
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!
Quinoa Panzanella Salad
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
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 heaping tablespoons basil pesto
1 tablespoon honey
salt and pepper to taste
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!
69 Responses to “Quinoa Panzanella Salad”
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!
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! 😀
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.
Yes, I’m sure that the traditionalists are cringing, but I loved the twist on the salad! 😀
Love how fresh it looks. 🙂 Awesome snaps ❤
Oh thanks Charanya! It was such a beautiful place!
I love that you were able to reconstruct a dish that you loved- it looks delicious!!
It was fun! I must do that more often. Glad you like the look of the dish! 😀
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!
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! 😀
This is a real Fiesta Julianna, so fresh and so good 🙂 Beautiful scenery too. Happy FF 🙂
Hey Linda! Maybe I should have renamed the salad to “Fiesta Salad”! 😀
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.
Thanks Hilda! Lucky you to have garden fresh veggies! Yes, BC has such gorgeous wineries! We are very lucky. 🙂
Wow, that winery is beautiful and the salad is spectacular!
Thanks so much, Suzanne! The whole experience was very memorable!
Loved the pics from your vacation Chef! The panhandle salad looks good and what an interesting take with quinoa in it :).
Thanks Sonal! Since then I have found myself adding quinoa to many salads! So yummy! 😀
I will try adding quinoa to my salads too :).
Mmmm lots of veggies, looks good!
Well, thanks so much! 😀
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!
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!
What a gorgeous salad Julianna & healthy to boot!
ooh, just noticed the new header, it is so lovely!
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! 😀
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!
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! 😀
Love her work – she has a really distinctive style and has done a sterling job with your header x
Love that beautiful place
Yes, I would recommend that area to anyone. It is so beautiful there! 😀
– 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… 😛
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! 😀
Thanks for sharing this yummy-looking salad recipe! 🙂
My complete pleasure! 😀
[…] Julianna […]
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! 😉
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? 🙂
Definitely! I can’t wait for next time! 😉
The salad looks so fresh and inviting! Loving it 🙂
So glad you like it! 😀
Some amazing pictures!!! And I love the recipe…
Thanks so much, Serena! Hope the Italian contingent can handle my rendition of your tradition!
I love the personal touch you gave to the panzanella salad 🙂
Simply beautiful, and oh so summery! Great job! Gorgeous pictures too!
Thanks ever so much, Loretta! 😀
Salad is really very colurful and great combo used.
Thanks, Chitra! 😀
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!
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! 😀
A very refreshing salad. Superb photos. And lovely scenery.
Aww, thanks, Sadia!
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!
I really love your salad recipes. They are so unique and tasty looking. I love the combination of ingredients in this one.
Oh, thanks so much, Liz! I really appreciate that, especially coming from you! You make some very amazing salads yourself! 😀
What a wonderful salad!! Beautiful pictures of the winery and I love your new theme and header!!
Thanks so much Arl. I’m super happy with the new header! Glad you like the pics here!
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!
My pleasure, Sue! I just love summer and the colours and flavours of it all! 🙂
Oh, this salad looks so good. I love the sound of the caper and the olives, I have to try it! 🙂 Yum!
Hey Petra! Yup, those 2 ingredients make a huge difference in the flavour of this salad! 😀
What a great salad for this time time of the year (or any time for that matter)! Thanks for sharing the great pictures and your version of this popular salad 🙂
You’re so welcome, Judi! It’s really fun to share the beauty of your vacation ! 😀
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. 😀
Lovely salad! Any salad with quinoa in it is great!
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! 😀
What a lovely salad! We love panzanella too! 😀 Those pictures are also great. And that header- lovely!
Oh thanks so much!! I really appreciate it So glad you like the header too! I’m really happy to have one at last! 😀