Roasted Butternut Squash and Hazlenut Panzanella with Cinnamon Vinaigrette

butternut

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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