Winter Panzanella

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

This recipe is not one to follow to a "T". Try sweet potatoes instead of butternut squash, use Quinoa instead of croutons, throw in a handful of nuts, grab whatever winter vegetables you have on hand and enjoy!

  • For the croutons:
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 6 cups day-old bread, crust removed, cubed
  • 6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the salad:
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped (optional)
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly lengthwise
  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 4 cups peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash (1/2-inch dice)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (Try Wild Mushroom-Sage)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, then quartered
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Toss the squash with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil, sage, salt, and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until the squash is tender and lightly caramelized, about 30-40 to minutes, turning once. Let cool.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the quartered Brussels sprouts and cook until tender but retain a touch of crispness, about 1 1/2 minutes, and drain.

(Optional: Add drained Brussels sprouts and sliced onions to the baking sheet with the butternut squash. Drizzle with a bit of oil and bake for 20 minutes.)

Melt the oil in a large skillet over moderate heat and cook until it shimmers. Add the garlic and thyme, and immediately add the bread cubes. Toss to coat well. Add most of the grated cheese and stir. Transfer bread to a baking sheet and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and salt and pepper and gently toss again while still warm to melt the cheese. Bake stirring once or twice, until the croutons are crisp and lightly colored on the outside but still soft within, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

Whisk the red wine vinegar with 1/2 cup olive oil. Season with pepper.

In a large bowl combine the roasted squash, (bacon) croutons, and Brussels sprouts. Add the vinaigrette and toss. Add the parsley leaves and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with grated Parmesan and serve immediately.

A photo of olives ripening in the sun Certified Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil