Autumn is certainly in the air, with rain showers, crisp air, cold and dark mornings, and cold nights too! The blankets are out, long sleeves are now “in season”, and a warm cup of cocoa is definitely a mood booster! The leaves are changing color finally in the Bay Area, and because of the rains, the air is clean as well. Such a beautiful season, with equally beautiful produce! There is a shift in the produce with pomegranates, apples, persimmons, pears in season now, and all the possible squashes in all shapes and sizes are everywhere!
I created this Fall Panzanella Salad as part of a collaboration in 2016, and I am still in love with this recipe!
Panzanella is traditionally an Italian salad, consisting of stale bread that is cut into pieces, toasted in the oven to perfection and mixed with ripe tomatoes, at it’s peak in summer, along with fresh basil and a beautiful light dressing. This is my take on a Fall Panzanella, using the best of the fall produce.
- Day old sourdough or ciabatta
- Butternut squash : The butternut squash, cut into small cubes, are roasted, with olive oil, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and red pepper flakes.
- Brussels Sprouts: The brussels sprouts are roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and calabrian chili. The sprouts need to be placed cut side down, so that it chars perfectly! I use calabrian chili paste for the sprouts, that you can get from Amazon, linked here. You can even get a cheaper one at Trader Joe’s. I LOVE this paste, and use it all the time for roasting, sandwiches, with pastas etc.
- Apples: I like the Honey crisp or Fuji variety
- Pomegranate Arils
- Toasted Pine nuts
- Fried sage leaves: The olive oil in which the sage is fried, gets a wonderful fragrant taste and smell. Sage smells so earthy and I love using it in different ways in the fall.
- Herbed goat cheese: Goat cheese is the perfect cheese to go with this salad. It is creamy and mild, with the pungent and strong flavors of the sprouts and earthiness of the squash.
- Maple-Apple Cider Vinaigrette : This vinaigrette is the best one for this salad. It is slightly sweet, garlicky, pungent, and soaks up in the bread well, to give this salad a wonderful flavor. I make double the dressing, so that I can use it for other salads in the Fall season.
I can totally see this salad for the upcoming Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving holidays. Or just to make as a weeknight dinner. It comes together pretty easily.
The bread takes 10 to 12 minutes to toast up nicely. The butternut squash and brussels sprouts are baked in quarter sheet pans, at the same time in the oven. The squash takes about 25 minutes and the sprouts take about 30 minutes to roast.
I bake everything in the lowest rack of the oven for maximum flavor and toastiness. In the meanwhile, you can get the rest of the ingredients ready. The vinaigrette can be made a day to a few days ahead of time and this salad can be made for a lovely weeknight meal.
You can even substitute apples with pears, if that is what you fancy. Previously I have even substituted pine nuts with toasted maple pumpkin seeds. I have also substituted butternut squash with delicata squash. It is a pretty free flowing salad, so you can substitute ingredients to your liking.
If you do try this recipe, please do not forget to use the hashtag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment in the blog post below.
Hope you get to try this fantastic salad this fall!