Fall Panzanella Salad

Panzanella is a term for an Italian salad, usually made with lots of cubes of crusty, day old bread. This particular panzanella salad utilizes delicious root vegetables that are abundant during the autumn season.

Hold the phone...no pumpkin seasoning? How dare this meal carry the label "fall."

There's a lot more to fall eats than pumpkin spice muffins, mashed potatoes, and turkeys. Although I love all of these foods, I have to agree with Buzzfeed Food, who said, "Salad is never going to get the pre-Thanksgiving hype, but it will look damn good when you’re working your way through a plate of food that’s 85% beige."

In my opinion, this salad looks good no matter what color the other food on your plate is.

I first made it last year at a cooking class at L'Academie de Cuisine in Maryland. It was a super filling first course, so if you're looking for a hearty, healthy salad as a meal, try it! Cut the recipe in half if you plan to eat another course (or two) later.

A rosemary, garlic, and lemon flavored olive oil coats the oven-roasted vegetables (beets, red onion, parsnips, carrots) and the bread cubes.

The roasted vegetables and bread are then tossed with peppery arugula, fresh mozzarella cheese and red wine vinegar to make a truly savory salad with amazing flavor combinations. You won't be disappointed in this meal!

Fall Panzanella Salad

  • 1 beet, or 1 small can of beets
  • 2 parsnip
  • 3 carrots
  • ½ red onion
  • ½ baguette, day old, about 1½ cups, cut to about 1-inch pieces 
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, finely chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons capers (optional)
  • ¼ cup kalamata or nicoise olives, halved (optional)
  • 2 ounces fresh Mozzarella, cut to ½-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Small chunk of block Parmesan cheese (about an ounce), freshly shaved 
  • 2 ounces baby arugula
  • Salt and pepper 

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and chop the beet into 1-inch chunks. Peel parsnip, keeping in mind that the center is woody. Chop around it into 1-inch chunks. Peel and chop carrots into 1-inch pieces. Peel the onion and slice into 6 wedges. Add all vegetables to a rimmed baking sheet.

2. Now make a flavored oil with which to coat bread and vegetables. Zest lemon and combine with minced garlic and about a teaspoon of salt on a cutting board, smashing to make a paste. Add to small mixing bowl with ½ up olive oil and a teaspoon of lemon juice and rosemary. Mix together well and pour half of the olive oil mixture over vegetables. Toss well to coat. Reserve other half of oil mixture. Bake vegetables for 45 minutes.

3. Take other half of oil mixture and pour over bread cubes. Add cubes to baking sheet and toss well with oil mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool.

4. Remove vegetables after 45 minutes and mix with bread cubes, capers, olives, Mozzarella, arugula, vinegar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and Parmesan. Season to taste.

Can be served warm or cold.


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