It seems that winter in Washington means rain. Lots and lots and lots of rain. While I'm not a fan of rain, I am thankful that the rain isn't snow, and the temperatures are above freezing. Me and winter are not friends, not.at.all! But...
I love winter vegetables - especially the multiple varieties of squash: Butternut, acorn, spaghetti, delicata & Australian butter - the list could go on and on. If you took a look into our "root cellar" in the garage right now you, would see so many squash you'd think we had a habit.
The trick though, is using them in different ways, ways that are both traditional and unique, ways that make you want to eat a bunch of squash, until you can't stand them anymore, and spring finally brings sweet relief. This salad is one of those ways.
Panzanella is an Italian bread salad that is usually enjoyed in the summer when ripe juicy tomatoes are falling off their vines. It was our Pumpkin Molasses Cornbread that got our creative wheels turning - that, and the mountain of delicata squash we have.
I am sooooo glad those wheels turned, because this salad is the result. It's fancy enough for company, simple enough for any weeknight, and tasty enough that you want leftovers
Peppery arugula (Tabithas favorite green) pairs with sweet delicata squash, molasses cornbread and pickled beets. Pickled beets... yum. Don't leave them out, even if you think you don't like beets, they provide just the right tangy contrast this salad needs. It's a healthy forkful of flavors with every bite.
Arugula is full of vitamins and minerals and as a proud member of the brassica family, it has anti-cancer properties. Winter squash such as delicata, provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits and may help regulate blood sugar. Those beets partner nicely with the arugula and delicata squash and provide you with an additional dose of anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
Those health benefits are reason enough to eat this salad but they're just a bonus. This winter salad is delicious- proof that healthy can taste good!
Winter Panzanella Salad – serves 4
2 slices Pumpkin Molasses Cornbread, cubed and toasted
5 ounces arugula
1-2 delicata squash, thinly sliced
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup pickled beets, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano or thyme
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Place cubed cornbread and delicata squash on individual baking sheest and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until cornbread is toasted and dried and squash is softened and beginning to brown. Check frequently.
3. While cornbread is toasting, combine olive oil through brown sugar in a small jar. Shake to combine.
4. Place arugula, cornbread, squash, pickled beets and red onion into a large bowl. Add dressing and toss to combine.
5. Grab a plate and fork and sit down, relax and enjoy.
300 caloriess, 13g fat, 42g carbohydrate, 9g fiber, 10g protein
*Thank you to Wild Hare Organic Farm for many of the local & seasonal produce we are able to use in our recipes.