This summer fruit panzanella is full of sweet, ripe cherries, blueberries, grilled nectarines, toasted gluten-free blueberry muffins and a sweet citrus dressing. Spoon over yogurt, vanilla ice cream or eat as is for a light, summer-filled treat.
I’ve had these Udi’s blueberry muffins in my freezer for months now (they freeze excellently). At least 5 times a week, Ulysses would open the freezer for some reason, see the aforementioned muffins and ask me “can I eat these yet?”
The answer: a continual “no”.
*This Toasted Muffin Summer Fruit Panzanella recipe is sponsored by partner, Udi’s Gluten Free.
See, I’ve had this fruit panzanella in mind for longer than those muffins have even been in the freezer. Visions of sweet, perfectly ripe summer fruit, a sweet citrus dressing, fresh herbs all tossed together with torn toasted pieces of those blueberry muffins have been floating around in my head since before the weather turned hot and summery.
But the recipe had to wait for that perfect mid-summer timing when the cherries are at their peak, irresistibly sweet, begging to be bought (even though they’ll end up costing the equivalent of half a tank of gas for just a small bag), the nectarines in season enough to guarantee a sweet and juicy bite and the blueberries still hanging in there before they disappear for another year (or at least start coming from a different hemisphere).
Finally, that time came, this fruit panzanella materialized and after months of crushing my husband’s muffin eating dreams (he’s seriously obsessed with them), I said “yes” when he opened the freezer and asked for the millionth time like a persistent little kid begging for a new toy.
I’ve had panzanella every which way in savory form; from crusty day old bread to cornbread, traditionally with the typical Italian tomato spin to a fall themed version with root vegetables but, I’ve never had it as a dessert.
After tasting this summer fruit panzanella though, I’m not sure I ever even want to go back to those savory ways.
The fruit is perfectly sweet, juicy and ripe and I just love how leaving the cherries whole makes it feel almost “hearty” as you eat it with big chunks of their goodness in almost every bite. The dressing is both sweet and tangy in that delicious citrusy way and the Udi’s blueberry muffins soak up all that flavor while still offering little pieces of crunch around the edges from toasting them first. Fresh herbs like basil and mint complete the summer vibe.
While I can assure you’d be completely happy eating this just as is, spooning it over some yogurt makes for the perfect summer breakfast and some vanilla ice cream, the perfect summer dessert.
For the dressing
- Zest of 1/2 an orange
- Juice of 1 orange
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
For the panzanella
- 3 cups pitted cherries
- 1 pint blueberries
- 2 nectarines
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 2 Udi's blueberry muffins
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil and mint
For the dressing:
- Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until well combined.
For the panzanella:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Crumble muffins onto a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until toasted and golden brown around the edges.
- Preheat grill to high. Brush nectarine halves with coconut oil and place cut side down onto the grill grates. Grill until charred and juicy. Remove from the grill and let cool for a few minutes then chop.
- Place the blueberries, cherries and chopped nectarines in a large bowl.
- Pour the dressing into the bowl and toss until well combined.
- When ready to serve, add the toasted muffin crumbles and herbs and toss gently to combine.