Winter Squash Panzanella
I made this salad for a Thanksgiving potluck at Mapbox, wanting to make something vegan with the bounty of butternut squash from our CSA. Panzanella is definitely a ‘pattern salad’: a base of toasted (or stale) bread moistened and combined with other stuff. You can (and should!) replace the primary vegetable, toppings, and dressing with whatever is currently in-season. This recipe itself is based on the panzanella in Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking (which is tomato and anchovy-based), and suggestions from friends at the Garden for the Environment at an event the night before the potluck.
The salad components can be prepped the day before, except for the vegetable toppings (radishes, etc.). Prep those at the time of serving.
- 1 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 4 tbsp salt-packed capers
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, mortared with the capers
- 1 tsp whole-grain mustard
- 4 whole butternut squash, cut in-half and sliced into 1/2-inch half-moons
- Toss with salt, olive oil, white pepper
- Roast on parchment at 400F until caramelized at the edges
- 1 loaf sourdough, cut into 1-inch cubes, tossed lightly in olive oil, and broiled to golden brown. I used a whole Tartine country loaf, but any substantial, high-gluten broad loaf works.
- shallots, sliced and macerated in apple cider vinegar
- radishes, sliced
- chives, diced
- arugula, washed
- roasted Whole Hazelnuts, chopped
After making the dressing, squash, bread, and toppings, assemble the salad 30-minutes prior to serving:
- In a large mixing bowl, toss and roughly combine the bread and the squash. Add salad dressing and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Add arugula and mix, followed by shallots, chives, and half of the hazelnuts.
- Adjust seasoning with salt and white pepper.
- Cover with remaining hazelnuts and radishes.