Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fall Panzanella Salad

I'm back with a nice light fall salad to counteract the decadent desserts I've been posting recently! As I've mentioned before, I could subsist on panzanella salad forever, but sadly tomatoes are not even close to being in season right now. So I was beyond excited to find this recipe for a fall panzanella salad! It combines all the most delicious fall and winter vegetables - butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and brussels sprouts with toasted bread and pomegranate seeds for crunch. Now, I know brussels sprouts are not the most exciting vegetable out there, but I think they just have a bad reputation. By slicing them thinly and sauteing them so they get crispy (not mushy!), they add delicious texture and flavor. Served over a little bed of lettuce, this salad is hearty enough for a full meal and is definitely a new standby in the Elmwood Eats home...until summer!

Fall Panzanella Salad (adapted from How Sweet Eats)
Serves 4
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
About 2 cups brussels sprouts, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon each salt, pepper, chili powder, and cinnamon
5 slices ciabatta bread (or whatever bread you like), cut into chunks
Seeds from one pomegranate (I spent what seemed like forever seeding the pomegranate but I know Trader Joe's has packages of just the seeds available...brilliant!)
3-4 cups mixed greens

For the dressing:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
Pinch salt, pepper, and coriander

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large baking pan, toss the cubes of squash and sweet potato with salt, pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, and two tablespoons olive oil. Bake the vegetables for about 25 minutes, turning them halfway through so they get evenly cooked.

Meanwhile, saute the brussels sprouts in one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat, just until they start to brown and get crisp around the edges. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and set aside.

Once the squash and sweet potatoes are finished roasting, transfer them to a bowl to cool. In the same roasting pan, toss the bread cubes with one tablespoon of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Bake those in the oven for just 5-7 minutes, until they barely start to brown. Mmm...toasty bread!

Finally, make the dressing - just combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine!

To assemble the salads, first toss the greens with the dressing, and divide onto four plates. Top with the bread, squash, sweet potato, brussels sprouts, and pomegranate seeds. 

We got our Christmas tree last weekend and Poppy is SO smells good, it's shiny and sparkly, and it has her own personal water bowl!

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