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We love panzanella. It’s a bread salad! And the toasty chunks absorb all the flavors inside the bowl. This particular panzanella celebrates the season’s harvest. The savory essence of this salad is balanced with pickled red onions for a brighter bite. Maple is added to each element of the dish but never overpowers. Enjoy this dish for lunch and dinner until the first strawberries ripen in spring. (On another note, if you decide to skip stuffing this year, this panzanella would make a star substitute!)

Serves

1 LARGE SALAD

Prep time

15 MINUTES

Cook time

30 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb bread, ripped into chunks​
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided​
  • 2 small honeynut squashes, peeled, seeded and cubed​
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple sugar seasoning​
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder​
  • 3 sprigs of thyme​
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup​
  • 4 oz pancetta​
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts sliced​
  • Pickled red onion​
  • 1 large tart apple, cored and thinly sliced​
  • Crumbled goat cheese​
  • Parsley and sage, finely chopped, to garnish​

FOR DRESSING​:

  • 3 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped​
  • 1 small shallot, coarsely chopped​
  • 1 teaspoon sweet maple mustard​
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup​
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette​
  • 1/3 cup olive oil​
  • Salt and pepper, to taste​

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375F and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Spread the pieces of ripped bread out over one baking sheet and toss it in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes until toasted, tossing half way through for even toasting.
  3. On the remaining baking sheet, spread out the honeynut squash and toss in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, maple sugar seasoning, onion powder, thyme leaves and maple syrup. Bake for 30 minutes on the center rack.
  4. While the bread and squash are baking, cook the pancetta in a medium skillet over medium high heat until browned. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the pancetta to a paper towel lined plate to let drain.
  5. Cook the leek in the pancetta fat, seasoning with pepper, until soft, about 7 minutes.
  6. In a salad serving bowl, add the bread, squash, pancetta, leeks, pickled red onion, and apple. Garnish with chopped parsley and sage.
  7. Make your dressing. In a liquid measuring cup or mixing bowl, combine the garlic, shallot, maple mustard, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Blend using an immersion blender until you have a creamy shallot vinaigrette.
  8. Pour over the panzanella and allow it to sit for 5 minutes to absorb the flavors. Serve and enjoy!

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