VeganMoFo: Guest Blog - Autumn Panzanella Salad

ChefMom here.  I’ve been invited to guest blog by my daughter, the vegan with a kitchen, with no fear to use it!
I just love bread, especially a rustic artisan bread, brushed with olive oil and fried, hence my love for Panzanella Salad. When you think of Panzanella Salad (if you ever think if Panzanella Salad) you probably picture, plump ripe summer tomatoes, freshly grown cucumbers, peppers and other veggies and herbs from you garden, tossed with grilled bread and a simple vinaigrette.  Since I don’t want to wait for summer to come round again, and the best part of the salad is the bread anyway, my ChefFriend, and co-worker came up with this delicious Autumn Panzanella Salad. It’s very forgiving and you can use most anything you have in the vegetable bin, so let your imagination write the recipe.

You won’t be sorry if you try this recipe, who doesn’t love fried bread?!

Be excited if you have leftovers! Wait until you heard why my little vegan did with the extras!

1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed (1” cubes)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh thyme, stripped from stalk and rough chopped
Kosher salt and coarse black pepper

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lbs mushrooms of your choice (we used button mushrooms this time)
1 bulb fennel, thin sliced
1 jumbo yellow onion, thin sliced
1 tbsp fresh sage, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
Zest from 1 orange

1 lb loaf of artisan bread, cubed (we used focaccia bread, but you can use any old bread that you like)
1 tbsp Olive Oil

Citrus Dressing

Juice from 4 oranges or a cup of orange juice (can mix lemon, lime and orange juices)
1 garlic clove
1 shallot
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 ½ to 2 cups olive oil
Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Toss butternut squash with first amount of olive oil, thyme and salt and pepper and roast on a sheet pan until lightly browned and soft to the touch (about 15 minutes). Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  3. In a sauté pan, heat second amount of olive oil and add onions. Allow onions to cook slowly (medium heat) until they begin to caramelize, add the mushroom, fennel and sage and cook until mushrooms and fennel begin to soften. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper and pour into a large bowl. Add diced red bell peppers and orange zest.
  4. In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the third amount of oil and add bread cubes (1/3 at a time) to grill and brown the bread. Use more oil as needed. When all the bread is toasty and browned add it to the bowl with the veggies.
  5. To make the dressing: Place the orange juice, garlic, shallot and Dijon mustard in a food processor or blender and blend until liquefied. Slowly add the oil through the top with the processor or blender running to emulsify the dressing. Taste and add salt and pepper. If you like a more tart dressing you can add some red or white wine vinegar.
  6. When ready to serve, toss the dressing with the veggies and grilled bread and voila, Autumn Panzanella Salad (Tasty and Delicious)

That's ChefMom!

Stay tuned for an awesome way to use your leftovers (if you have any!)


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