This year, spring has been slow in coming and only just now is it beginning to show itself. The slightest hints are trickling in at the markets, tucked amongst the wintry root vegetables are a few tender green stalks of asparagus and the brilliant pinky reds of slender rhubarb. But even still, as these items shyly make their way to market, there is snow on the ground and low digits temperatures awaiting us each day. Winter’s persistence has me reluctant to shun it’s comforting meals just yet but I do so long for those first few tastes of spring. So, I’ve folded the two seasons into one to create the recipe below – A spring green bread salad. It ticks all the boxes, fresh and light with distinct flavors of the new season and a nourishing hearty backbone. This delicious backbone comes from one of my favorite foods, really beautifully made bread. Give me all the crisp crusts and invitingly chewy centers and I couldn’t be happier. La Brea Bakery breads, with their Big Sky Montana grown single origin wheats and stunning sourdough starter create some truly wonderful artisan breads. And their Reserve sourdough demi-baguette was the perfect choice for this recipe, crisping up beautifully in the oven. La Brea Bakery breads are consistently delicious and accessible nationally (something else I love!) and they have been using the same starter since 1989. Look out for their new Reserve breads like the sourdough in this recipe at Krogers Markets specialty cheese counters – distinguished cheeses and artisan breads in one place, yes please. Find out more here & look for a little coupon too!
I chose the La Brea Bakery Reserve Sourdough Demi-Baguette to make this Spring Green Bread salad because of its sharp sourdough taste and wonderful texture, perfect for toasting and even better for soaking up all the tangy bright citrus flavors of the sumac in the dressing. This salad is as much about flavor as it is texture. I hope you enjoy this Spring Green Bread Salad as much as we have been the last week.The dressing and quick pickled onions in this salad can both be made days ahead and kept in jars in the fridge. Truth be told, I almost always have a large jar of pickled red onion on hand at any given time – they are a great condiment and perfect addition to lots of salads and snacks. If you do make the dressing ahead, just be sure to let it come to room temperature before using. There are a number of herbs in this salad, and they are part of what creates the beautiful layers of flavor and texture, but I don’t chop them. I think this muddies their flavors and destroys all their lovely textures, instead I simply pick the leaves from the larger tougher stems reserving only the whole leaves and fronds. This salad is one of those that gets better as it goes, making its an easy addition to the table for a spring party or leisurely evening meal. Just remember to add the sunflower seeds immediately before serving so they retain their crunch
Spring Bread Salad
For the dressing
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp sumac
- 1.5 tsp honey
- 4 tbsp evo
- 1/4 tsp each salt & pepper
- small clove smashed garlic
Pickled red onion
- one large red onion, sliced as thinly as possible
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
Spring Green Bread Salad
- 1 loaf La Brea Bakery Reserve Sourdough Demi-Baguette
- 8-10 large stalks asparagus, shaved. about 3/4 cup
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced into thin ribbons. about 2 loose cups
- 1/2 cup mint, picked
- 1/2 cup dill, picked
- 1/2 cup parsley, picked
- 2 cup baby arugula greens, loosely packed
- 2 Tbsp, heaped, soaked golden raisins
- 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup pickled red onion
For the pickled red onions – add a small handful of ice to a clean 16oz jar – then place all the ingredients for the onions into the jar and pack them down with the back of your hand – add enough water to just cover the onions. Invert a few times and let stand one hour, inverting the jar every so often. Use immediately or store in the fridge up to 2 weeks
For the dressing – In an 8oz lidded jar, place all of the ingredients for the dressing. Tightly screw on the top and shake vigorously over the sink until well blended (can also be made in a bowl, just whisk the olive oil into the other ingredients until fully combined)
For the Salad
- cut La Brea Bakery Reserve Sourdough Demi-Baguette into half lengthwise, Brush bread all over with 2 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with just a pinch of salt. place on a parchment lined baking sheet and broil under low heat, turning as needed, until a beautiful deep golden color. Once cool enough to handle, tear into irregular chunks 2-3 inches and smaller.
- While the bread toasts place raisins in a small dish and cover will warm water. Set aside. In a dry skillet, cast iron preferable, over medium low heat, lightly toast sunflower seeds until lightly golden but not burned. 2-3 minutes, so watch them carefully.
- Carefully slice or shave using a small knife, mandoline or vegetable peeler the zucchini and asparagus into thin ribbons.
- Place bread chunks at the bottom of a large serving bowl, then add the pickled red onion, asparagus, zucchini and about 1/4 of the dressing. Toss gently to combine and let stand 15 minutes.
- Drain golden raisins and add them to the salad along with the arugula, mint, parsley, dill. Pour half the remaining dressing down over the top. Toss gently and taste. Add remaining dressing as desired.
- Just before serving add in the toasted sunflower seeds and give everything a good toss again. Garnish with a sprinkle of sumac and a few more herbs if desired
this post was created in partnership with La Brea Bakery. All thoughts and opinions are my own