Kasim Hardaway Gets Down to Business

Local food blogger turns from fan to chef

No doubt, you've seen one of Kasim Hardaway's snaps of delicious dishes around town on Instagram. Now, the food lover is turning into a food creator with the opening of his new healthy-eating concept, Cultivare: Grains and Greens. To capture the essence of summer, try a bite of his Panzanella salad with Champagne Viniagrette at home!

Champagne Vinaigrette


  • 1/3 cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 teaspoons agave
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes 


  1. Add all ingredients to food processor or blender, excluding evoo.

  2. As the added ingredients are processed slowly, add in evoo.

(If you don’t have a food processor or blender, finely chop the shallot and whisk all other ingredients, excluding olive oil, by hand. Slowly add the olive oil and whisk vigorously.)

Panzanella Salad


  • 2 pounds red tomatoes, cut into small wedges
  • 5 cups of ciabatta*, cubed 
  • ½ cup mozzarella pearls
  • ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup roasted red pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers
  • microgreens
  • garlic powder
  • extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
  • black pepper
  • salt

*ciabatta can be substituted with french bread or any hard crusty bread


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, drizzle bread with ⅓ to ¼ cup of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss well, ensuring all pieces are well oiled and coated.

  2. Place bread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 5 to 7 minutes. Allow to cool.

  3. While bread is cooling, place tomatoes, red onion, roasted red pepper, capers, and mozzarella pearls in a large bowl. Drizzle in the desired amount of champagne vinaigrette and toss. Add in bread, then toss again.

  4. Transfer to a serving dish, then garnish with microgreens* and finish with a teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper.

If you don’t have access to microgreens, fresh parsley or basil is a great substitution. Slice selected herb into ribbons then sprinkle over salad.

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