Panzanella with Roasted Delicata Squash, Apple and Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Ingredients
  • 1 loaf levain, or other darker artisan bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 t extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium delicata squash, cleaned and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 apples, a crisp red variety peeled, cored and cut into quarters
  • 1 1/2 t sugar
  • 3 large sage leaves, roughly sliced
  • 3 ounces arugula or other hearty lettuce
  • 1 c blue cheese vinaigrette or more as needed (see recipe below)
  • 1/4 red onion, cut into thin slices
  • salt and pepper
Directions

Remove crust from bread and cut into 1" cubes. In a medium bowl, toss with 4T olive oil and season lightly with salt. In a 350-degree oven, toast bread until dry throughout and golden. Once the croutons are cool they can be held for 1 to 2 days in an airtight container.

Raise oven temperature to 400 degrees. In another bowl, combine squash rings with 2T olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast, until soft and golden, about 25 minutes.

Place a parchment-lined pan in the 400-degree oven. Toss apple pieces with 2T olive oil, sugar and sage, season with salt and pepper. Place apples on hot pan and roast until just starting to caramelize and soften. 

Toss croutons with 1 cup blue cheese vinaigrette, allowing croutons to soak up vinaigrette, 5-10 minutes.

Slice apples and add to croutons with squash, onions and arugula. Add more dressing if all soaked up.

Taste, adjust salt, and add fresh ground black pepper. Portion on six plates.

Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

  • 1 c red wine vinegar
  • 2 t Dijon mustard
  • 2 c olive oil
  • 3/4 c whole toasted walnuts
  • 6 ounces buttermilk blue cheese
  • 1 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 c water

Puree all ingredients in blender. Thin as needed with water, tablespoon by tablespoon until dressing is thick enough to coat leaves of lettuce, but not act weighty.

Categories: 
Salads
Yield: 
Serves 6 as an appetizer

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