Roasted Butternut Squash and Hazlenut Panzanella with Cinnamon Vinaigrette


Recipe courtesy of Chef Brad Hindsley, Spire Farm to Fork (LaPorte, Indiana)
Photo by D. Lucas Landis

Serves 8–10

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Panzanella is a traditional Italian salad made with leftover bread. In this version, local chef Brad Hindsley offers a contemporary American take on this rustic salad with roasted Butternut squash and a seasonal vinaigrette just right for the Thanksgiving table.

For the squash:

1 pound Butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced

2–3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


For the dressing:

4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons local honey

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped

½ teaspoon salt

1 (1-pound) loaf brioche or challah bread, cut into ½-inch-thick cubes

2–3 tablespoons olive oil

4 ounces hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

1 cup Fontina cheese, grated and loosely packed

Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss the Butternut squash with enough olive oil to coat the squash and add the salt, cayenne pepper and ginger. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast 30-45 minutes or until the squash is tender and starting to caramelize. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, honey, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Slowly drizzle in the ½ cup of olive oil to create an emulsion. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.

Toss the cubed bread in a bowl with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Spread out onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven until crusty on the outside and soft in the center.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm bread and squash. Toss together with the sage and toasted hazelnuts. Stir in the vinaigrette. Top with the Fontina cheese and serve immediately. 

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