This recent bout of spring weather has gotten me in the mood for some fresh farmers market veggies! Too bad winter has returned with a vengeance and spring vegetables are a long way off.
It got me thinking though about what I love about summer cooking:
- Fresh, seasonal produce
- Beautiful, bright colors that jump off the plate
- Light meals with a lot of flavor
- Quick and easy preparation
As I looked around my kitchen for inspiration I found a gorgeous deep orange butternut squash, dark rich green mature spinach, black wrinkly oil-cured olives, vibrant red roasted peppers, bright cheerful oranges, and wheat speckled half eaten loaf of olive bread.
Why wait until summer? This winter panzanella salad takes advantage of the best the season has to offer; no compromises necessary!
- 1 small butternut squash, approximately 1 pound
- 1/2 loaf of hearty stale bread; olive bread works great
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped oil cured olives
- 1 roasted red pepper, thinly sliced into 1-inch strips
- 8 ounces spinach leaves
- 3 anchovies
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 Tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 Tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons orange juice--approximately 1/2 an orange
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Peel the butternut, remove the seeds, and dice into 1-inch pieces. Toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil and spread out on a sheet pan. Roast for 20-30 minutes, turning once or twice until browned on the outside and tender on the inside.
- Cut the bread into 1-2 inch cubes. Toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil and spread out on a sheet pan. Roast for 20 minutes, turning once until brown.
- Microwave the spinach for 15-20 seconds, just until it starts to wilt.
- Toss together the squash, bread, olives, red pepper, and spinach leaves.
- Combine anchovies, garlic and 3 Tablespoons olive oil in a small saucepan. Turn heat to medium low and break up anchovies. Once it's very fragrant and the anchovies have melted into the oil, remove from heat.
- In a small bowl whisk mustard, vinegar, orange juice, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil mixture until emulsified.
- Toss together the salad and the dressing. Let stand for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally. Serve.