Winter Panzanella Salad is beautiful for lunch or dinner for your family or to serve at a party.
For the croutons:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
6 cups day-old bread, crust removed,
cubed 6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
1 small red onion, sliced thinly lengthwise
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
4 cups peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash (1/2-inch dice)
1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, then quartered
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over moderate heat and cook until it foams.
- Add the garlic and thyme, and immediately add the bread cubes. Toss to coat well.
- Add most of the grated cheese and stir.
- Transfer bread to a baking sheet and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and salt and pepper and gently toss again while still warm to melt the cheese.
- Bake stirring once or twice, until the croutons are crisp and lightly colored on the outside but still soft within, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
- Soak the sliced onion in the sherry vinegar and a pinch of salt for about 15 minutes. Set aside.
- Toss the squash with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil, sage, salt, and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until the squash is tender and lightly caramelized, about 15 to minutes. Let cool.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the quartered Brussels sprouts and cook until tender but retain a touch of crispness, about 1 1/2 minutes, and drain.
- Into the reserved red onions and vinegar, whisk in remaining 1/2 cup olive oil. Season with pepper.
- In a large bowl combine the roasted squash, croutons, and Brussels sprouts. Add the vinaigrette and toss. Add the parsley leaves and toss again.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with grated Parmesan and serve immediately.
Adapted from Michael Chiarello