Friday, December 16, 2011

Autumn Panzanella

I think now is a good time to stick a salad in here; mix it up with all those sweets and something healthy to stick under your belt before the onslaught of holiday goodies begins rolling in (if it hasn't already).

Panzanellas are one of my favorite kinds of salads, especially with the right kind of bread, toasted to perfection. I'm glad I stumbled upon this salad because sometimes it's easy to forget to eat your greens (and sometimes veggies too!) during the cold fall and winter months. Well, now there's no excuse. This fall-inspired panzanella gives you a mixture of delicious fall produce, good-for-you greens along with toasty bread and pumpkin seeds and a pop of both color and sweet-tart flavor from the dried cranberries.

Autumn Panzanella
olive oil
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 apples, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3-4 cups fresh greens
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4-1/2 cup green pumpkin seeds (or sunflower seeds would work too)
4-5 thick slices multi-grain bread, cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix salt, pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, and garlic powder in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, mix sweet potato and squash chunks, then generously drizzle olive oil on top and toss to coat. Add about 3/4 of the spice mixture, and toss again to coat. Lay on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring about half way through.

After 20 minutes, toss apple chunks with remaining spice mixture. Add apple to the baking sheet and bake for another 10-20 minutes, or until everything is tender, tossing once or twice. Remove from oven and cool.

Toss pieces of bread in some olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, then spread on a separate baking sheet . Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden and crispy.

Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add (green) pumpkin seeds and toast until lightly golden. Remove from heat and allow to cool in a separate dish.

In a large bowl, combine greens with roasted veggies and apple, toasted bread, seeds and cranberries. Toss with some of the vinaigrette and serve immediately. (You can serve the dressing separately if you don't plan on eating it all right away.)

1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

SOURCE: Adapted from How Sweet It Is

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