This panzanella salad is one of those super-tasty barbeque-and-toss-all-together type meals. If the barbecue is not going, you can cook the lamb and vegetables in a fry pan on the stove top.
Panzanella is a classic Tuscan salad identifiable by the use of tomatoes and bread. It’s the perfect dish for entertaining guests on a balmy summer evening – just grill the lamb and veges on the barbeque, toss through the rest of the ingredients and you’re done! Serve immediately after it is tossed with the dressing, as while you want the croutons to suck up a bit of juice, you still want them to retain their texture. I like to cook my lamb medium rare to ensure it’s still juicy, but you could easily cook it more if you’re more of a well-done meat eater!
- Use gluten-free bread for the croutons if required
- olive oil 2-3 tablespoons
- lamb backstraps or leg steaks 600g
- sourdough or ciabatta bread 6 thick slices, roughly torn into 2.5cm chunks (gluten-free if required)
- asparagus 1 bunch, ends trimmed and halved
- black olives ½ cup
- vine tomatoes 6 medium ripe, chopped
- roast red capsicum (from a jar) 1, sliced
- red onion ½ small, sliced
- basil large handful
Red wine vinegar dressing
- red wine vinegar 3 tablespoons
- lemon juice of ½
- extra-virigin olive oil 3 tablespoons
- runny honey 2 teaspoons
- wholegrain mustard 1 teaspoon
- Heat barbecue hot plate to medium to high. Rub 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over the lamb and season with salt.
- Cook lamb for 1-2 minutes on each side for medium rare or until cooked to your liking. Remove meat and set aside to rest on a plate wrapped in foil for at least 10 minutes, reserving and juices.
- Meanwhile, toss remaining olive oil with bread chunks (using your hands) and fry on the barbecue hot plate for a few minutes, turning once, until golden. Season with a little salt.
- Wash asparagus, shake off excess water, toss in a little olive oil and add to hot plate. Cook asparagus for 1-2 minutes until just cooked and nicely charred.
- Mix all dressing ingredients together.
- Slice lamb on an angle. Just before serving, toss with reserved juices, asparagus, toasted bread, olives, tomatoes, capsicum, onion, basil leaves and dressing. Serve immediately.
- Tip: Bread that’s a few days old is best for this salad.