Green Bean Panzanella Salad– aka bread salad – is a break from your boring green bean routine. Green beans, shaved fennel, olives, and feta all tossed with crusty bread cubes that soak up a tangy red wine vinaigrette!
When the green beans start producing in my garden, they produce daily, by the pound. This Green Bean Panzanella salad is a great way to eat your veggies and keep up with that garden! The earlier you pick your beans, the more tender and delicious they’ll be!
My favorite way to eat green beans is simple. Trim, boil for about 5 min or until just tender, then blister them in a sauté pan with olive oil, salt/pepper and sliced almonds. It’s so yummy.
To dress them up a bit, I make this panzanella salad with feta and fennel.
Fennel is one of those vegetables that I forget about. My friend Matt has it growing in his garden and it has inspired me to make a few salads. Next year I’m definitely going to grow a little…just to make these special salads.
The freshly toasted bread cubes in this type of salad really give it some substance. You’ll want to toss the bread into the salad just before it’s served, but to tell you the truth, I love to eat the bread after it’s completely soaked and spongy from the dressing. Tossed with salty olives and feta. This is a satisfying Mediterranean style lunch. Mmmm.
The easiest way to prepare this salad is with a mandoline. It will allow you to slice the fennel and onions paper thin – you want them to be a delicate flavor with each bite of salad. If you don’t have one, just try to get the slices as thin as you can. I made this for years without a mandoline and it’s just fine.
Abundant as my green beans have become, I have been ripped off by the squirrels when it comes to zucchini. First they came for my raspberries, now they have been nipping off flowers on of all my squash and pumpkin plants.
Today I caught one red handed when I returned from work. It’s so frustrating! I had to console myself with a piece of chocolate. Full squirrel combat has commenced.
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed
- 1 cup (loosely packed) shaved fennel bulb
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup chopped olives
- 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 tsp sumac (optional)
- 2 slices whole grain crusty bread (about 1 inch thick and about the width of your palm)
- Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add beans; simmer until just tender, about 5 minutes. Plunge beans into ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Once cooled, drain the water.
- Toss together green beans, fennel, onion, olives, feta, oil, vinegar, and ½ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl; season with pepper. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.
- Preheat broiler. Place bread on a baking sheet. Broil, turning once, until bread darkens, about 4 minutes. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes; add to salad, and toss to combine.