|Butternut Panzanella Salad|
Panzanella (pahn-zah-NEHL-lah) is a rustic Italian bread salad. It tastes like bruschetta in a bowl! I’m sure it was a salad of necessity. Italian cooks waste nothing and, this was a way to use up stale bread. It dates back to the 1500’s. It always includes bread and tomatoes. Other vegetables that may be included are peppers, cucumbers, and onions. Also, lots of garlic, capers, black olives, and anchovies are usually included. The Panzanella salad I’m sharing with you today includes roasted butternut squash. This is a fabulous salad! Thanks Diane for sharing it with me!
|I used rosemary-sea salt focaccia|
|Butternut squash ready for the oven|
|Roasted and ready to use|
|The veggies cut up for the salad…minus onions and anchovies|
|This is an incredible salad…the flavor of the butternut squash melded so well with all the other ingredients.|
|Delicious Butternut Panzanella Salad!|
This salad adapted from
The Organic Seasonal Cookbookserves 4-6
2 butternut squash
⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 stale ciabatta loaf
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
9 oz. halved baby plum tomatoes (I used red and yellow cherry tomatoes)
12 canned anchovy fillets in olive oil, rinsed and chopped (optional)
1 small cucumber
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, crushed ( I used one)
1 bunch fresh basil, coarsely torn
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Peel the squash, then remove the seeds. Cut the flesh into ¾ inch chunks and spread out on a baking sheet. Drizzle over a little of the extra virgin olive oil and add a light scattering of sea salt. Roast in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until soft and caramelized.
Meanwhile, cut the ciabatta into small chunks, then drizzle with some of the remaining oil and season to taste with sea salt. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden and crunchy.
Put the celery, onion, red bell pepper, tomatoes, and anchovies, if using, in a large bowl. Halve the cucumber lengthwise and scoop out the seeds, then cut into thin slices and add to the bowl. Add the roasted squash and seeds and the baked ciabatta. Mix the vinegar and garlic with the remaining oil and season to taste salt and pepper. Pour over the salad, then add the basil and toss thoroughly, making sure that the ciabatta chunks get a good coating of the dressing. If possible, let stand for an hour or so to enable the flavors to develop and the bread to soften very slightly.