‘Don’t waste the bread’ recipe series: Spring Panzanella Bread Salad

Foodie Weekender by Bronte Hogarth

Stale bread is a given in most households; even the most conscious-of-waste foodies will occasionally find themselves taking a dry loaf of bread from the cupboard, or some stale rolls hiding in the very back of the bread-box.

‘Don’t waste the bread’ is a recipe series to show just how varied and delicious bread can be, even when it is getting old and past its due date. Food is one of the biggest areas people can easily make a difference in their lives becoming more sustainable, by not wasting food with just a little thought and creativity.

Spring Panzanella Bread Salad

This recipe also uses seasonal spring produce such as leeks and asparagus.


  • 6 cups day-old bread, crust removed, cubed
  • 4 large leeks
  • 1 small red onion, peeled + quartered
  • 1 bunch asparagus.
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
For the vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 2tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt + pepper


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  1. Preheat oven to 200 C. Line two baking trays.
  2. Mix the bread cubes with the garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss to coat well. Transfer bread to a baking tray, and cook until the croutons are crisp and lightly colored on the outside but still soft within, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
  3. Cut the trimmed leeks in half down the middle, lengthwise. Rinse them thoroughly to remove any grit between the layers. Place them on the other lined baking tray. Break off tough ends of asparagus. Put asparagus and the quarters of red onion on the tray as well. Toss the vegetables in the tray with the remaining tablespoon of oil and some more salt + pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are browning and getting tender. Allow vegetables to cool slightly.
  4. While vegetables are roasting/cooling, make the dressing: Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender. Mix or pulse everything until a pale green and creamy mix is achieved. Taste it for seasoning, adjust if necessary and set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas and toasted bread. Chop up the leeks, red onions and asparagus into bite size pieces and toss them into the bowl as well. Season the whole mix with salt + pepper if you like. Pour the dressing on top (you might have a bit extra). Toss everything together to combine. Garnish the salad with chopped chives. Serve immediately.

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No-Waste Tips: Bread
  • Cut the grease: Soak up the layer of fat on your soup by placing a stale bread on top. Let it float for a few seconds and soak up that unwanted grease, and then remove. This works for gravies and sauces, too.
  • See our favrouite 10 tips to use up stale bread

Don’t forget to head over to our website! We are daughters, mothers, sisters and grandmothers getting on with practical climate action to live better for us and the planet. Join the movement at www.1millionwomen.com.au