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Panzanella with Roasted Red Onion

Panzanella or bread salad is an Italian tradition...one that I grew up loving. In this version, I roast the veggies for a little added richness and smoky flavor.

Ingredients
1 red onion, halved lengthwise, cut into thin half-moon slices
2 cups green beans, ends trimmed, left whole
1 cup asparagus tips
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
10 to 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup small dice cucumbers
1 cup cooked or canned cannellini beans (if using canned, rinse well)
3 cups baby arugula
3 cups 1-inch whole grain bread cubes
2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 to 4 sprigs basil, leaves removed, finely shredded

Directions 
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss red onion, green beans and asparagus tips with 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt to coat. Spread vegetables on a shallow baking sheet and bake, stirring often, until tender and lightly browned at the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature. 

Combine tomatoes, cucumbers, cannellini beans, arugula and bread cubes in a large bowl. Whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice and basil until emulsified. 

To serve, gently toss roasted vegetables and dressing into tomato mixture and allow to marinate for about 30 minutes before serving, to soften the bread a bit. 

Makes 5-6 servings. 


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