Panzanella is a Tuscan salad typically made with pieces of stale bread which absorb the salad dressing and juices from the vegetable ingredients in the salad. Panzanella made with fresh summer tomatoes is one of my absolute favorite summer salads. But what about winter panzanella? I had some leftover pumpernickel bread, so I decided to create a winter panzanella.
Roasted acorn squash, crisp apple, sauteed kale and toasted hazelnuts all contribute to this delightfully wintry salad. This salad is amazing and rivals the summer classic. It would be an excellent addition to any holiday table.
- 1/4 acorn squash partially peeled and cubed*
- 1 1/2 TBSP olive oil divided
- 1 TBSP dried sage divided
- salt and pepper
- ~4 leaves of lacinato kale stems removed and coarsely chopped
- 1 thick slice of pumpernickel bread cut into cubes
- 1/2 apple cored and thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup hazelnuts
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese optional (I love Maytag blue cheese)
- 1 TBSP maple syrup**
- 1 TBSP whole grain brown mustard
- 1 1/2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 1/2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
Prepare Salad Ingredients
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss squash cubes with 1/2 TBSP oil, 1/2 TBSP sage, salt and pepper and arrange on a baking sheet so that pieces are not touching each other.
- Roast squash for ~20 minutes until tender.
- While squash is roasting, heat sautee pan on medium heat and add 1/2 TBSP oil.
- Add kale to pan and sautee for ~5 minutes until wilted and tender.
- Toss bread cubes with remaining 1/2 TBSP oil,1/2 TBSP sage, and salt and pepper
- Arrange bread cubes on baking sheet or toaster oven pan and toast at 400 degrees for ~5-8 minutes until bread is dried out.
- While bread is toasting, toast hazelnuts on medium heat in a dry pan until fragrant and lightly browned.
- Combine maple syrup, mustard, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid. Season with salt and pepper and shake to combine.
- Combine salad ingredients together in a large bowl. pour on dressing (you probably won't need all the dressing) and toss to combine.
**Use real maple syrup, not maple-flavored high fructose corn syrup (aka "crap"). The ingredient list on your maple syrup should contain one item:100% pure maple syrup. If there are other ingredients on the list, put it back on the shelf and look for pure maple syrup.