03 November 2011

Autumn Panzanella

After carb loading for a couple of days accidentally, I was looking for an excuse to use up a number of fall vegetables and a couple of late harvest veggies from the garden.  I had an itch for panzanella, but didn't have the summer veggies to accomplish that.  This is my own take on a couple different recipes that I found...and using the ingredients I had at the house.

Ingredients:
     Croutons
2-3 Cups cubed, day-old bread
3 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp thyme
3 Tbsp tablespoons shredded Parmesan, plus more for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

   Salad
1/2 medium onion, sliced thinly
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
Sea salt
2 cups peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash
1 red pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, minced
1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped sage or thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
8-12 small to medium sized Brussel sprouts, end trimmed, and quartered
1/2 medium apple, cubed
1/2 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Soak the sliced onion in the sherry vinegar, along with the sugar and a pinch of salt for at least 10 minutes. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and thyme, and immediately add the bread cubes. Toss to coat well. Add most of shredded Parm stir. Transfer bread to a cookie sheet, sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake 10 to 15 minutes to allow the cheese to melt an become crisp.

Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil in the pan. Saute the squash until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add the Brussels sprouts and apples. Add red pepper and jalapeño last. Cook until soft. Add spinach and cook until warm. Set aside.

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 mixture and croutons. Add the vinaigrette and toss. Garnish with grated Parmesan and serve immediately.

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