Panzanella is basically the name for bread salad, and there is nothing I enjoy more than some toasty sourdough croutons, soaking up an amazing dressing in amongst my salad veggies. We have another version of a bread salad in my new project, The Weekend Table, out now for pre-orders...get onto that ASAP.
The more traditional version of bread salad is with tomatoes, bocconcini, basil, more Italian flavours. For this version I have hit it with a little heat from the watercress and radishes, but not in a chilli way, more of a peppery version of heat and then we are using plenty of parmesan. I also added sage leaves as I think sage and butternut are a match made in flavour heaven. I also finished it off with sage flowers from my garden, aren't they pretty?
This is quite a decent salad for a hungry bunch. We served it as it, with just some barbequed lamb on the side. Nothing else. It was extremely satisfying. Spring is here, summer is on it's way...we are ready for simple easy eating.
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- 1/2 butternut pumpkin
- 4-6 Slices sourdough or other homestyle bread
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) as needed BUY
- pink salt flakes and black pepper as needed BUY
- 5 red radishes
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 Bunch watercress, roots removed
- 1 Handful flat leaf parsley
- 1 Bunch chives, snipped
- 1 Bunch fresh sage leaves
- fresh thyme sprigs
- 50 Grams parmesan cheese shaved
- 40 Grams sherry or red wine vinegar
- 20 Grams balsamic vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic
- 80 Grams Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) BUY
- 1 Pinch pink salt flakes and some cracked black pepper BUY
Peel and either slice or cut pumpkin into cubes and place onto a lined baking tray. Drizzle with EVOO and season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast approximately 25 minutes in a hot oven (200°C) until cooked and starting to caramelise. Remove from the oven and cool.
Dice the bread into crouton size pieces and place onto a lined baking tray. Drizzle with plenty of EVOO. Cook at 180°C stirring occasionally, until the bread is crispy and golden and all the oil is absorbed.
Slice radishes paper thin and cut celery on an angle into thin slices. Add the pumpkin, toasted bread and all the salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss gently.
To make the salad dressing place all ingredients into the Thermomix bowl and blend 10 sec/speed 10. Dress the salad a good 10 minutes before serving as the dressing needs to be infused into the bread a little.