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Cherry Tomato Panzanella Salad with Hemp Seed Blue Cheese | Vegan
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5 from 4 votes

Cherry Tomato Panzanella with Hemp Seed Blue Cheese

Salty, savory vegan hemp seed blue cheese is tossed with juicy tomatoes, peppery arugula, chewy homemade croutons, and a tangy vinaigrette. This vegan panzella salad is packed with the flavors of summer!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: plant-based, Vegan
Servings: 6 –8 side salads or 4 entrée salads

Ingredients

Hemp Seed Blue Cheese Crumbles

  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts
  • 1 ½ to 2 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste*
  • 2 teaspoons tahini
  • ½ teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon white miso paste, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt or to taste
  • Scant 1/16 teaspoon spirulina powder (optional, for color)

Red Wine Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup cold-pressed olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cherry Tomato Panzanella Salad

  • 1 small freshly-baked regular or gluten-free baguette (about 8 inches long or 8–10 ounces), halved lengthwise
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 2 to 3 ounces baby arugula (about 2 heaping cups), to taste
  • ½ small red onion, quartered and then sliced
  • Handful fresh basil leaves, chopped

Instructions

For the Hemp Seed Blue Cheese Crumbles

  • Add the cashews to a small food processor and process for 20 seconds, or until ground into a coarse meal. Add the Hemp Hearts, lemon juice, tahini, miso paste, nutritional yeast, and sea salt. Pulse 15 times, or until the mixture begins to pull together in large, moist mound.
  • Scoop into a small bowl. If desired, dot the spirulana powder over the surface and use a toothpick to cut it through the "cheese" several times to create blue-green marbling/streaks.
  • Freeze for 20 minutes to set and firm. Then, use a fork to scrape along the surface to gently crumble the "cheese". Keep refrigerated until serving.

For the Red WineVinaigrette

  • In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk together until emulsified. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the salad.

For the Cherry Tomato Panzanella Salad

  • Meanwhile, heat a grill or grill pan over high heat.
  • Brush the soft, interior side of each baguette slice with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Once the grill is hot, place the bread, oiled side down on the pan. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes, or until toasted with deep golden-brown grill marks. Flip and grill another 2 to 3 minutes, or until desired doneness is reached. Carefully remove each from the grill and cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, carefully slice each piece of baguette into 1-inch cubes.
  • In a large serving bowl, combine the toasted bread cubes, tomatoes, onion, and basil. Pour as much of the dressing as desired over top, and toss to coat. Divide between bowls or plates and top with the blue cheese crumbles. Serve immediately.

Notes

*Add more lemon juice for a tangier, more traditional blue cheese or less for a more savory, salty blue cheese.