Late Winter Veg Panzanella

By: Julia Ossowski

This recipe was inspired by a dish served during our wedding weekend last fall on San Juan Island (we had a delicious rehearsal brunch at Coho Restaurant). It’s basically a deconstructed veggie sandwich - equal parts crunchy homemade croutons, roasted veg & greens. This would be great with sourdough, rye, or a crunchy baguette. All kinds of root veg or squash will work here - beets would also be a great option!


1 loaf of good quality crusty sourdough or rye bread

2 carrots

1 acorn, delicata or other soft-skinned squash

1 red onion

Feta cheese 

Arugula (or other spicy or bitter greens)

1/2 cup Pepitas

2 Tbs honey, gently warmed

2 Tbs balsamic glaze or vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1-2 lemons

Olive oil

Salt & pepper (or red chili flakes)

How to make it:

Preheat your oven to 400. Tear or slice your bread into big bite-sized pieces, about 1½”. Toss with a generous drizzle of olive oil & salt. Spread the bread out on a sheet pan and roast in the oven until crouton-like (dry, crunchy and a beginning to turn golden-brown), approx 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, peel and slice carrots on the diagonal, into about 1” pieces. Slice onion into half-moon wedges. Slice squash into 1” pieces that are a similar size to your carrots. If using delicata, slice in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, then slice into 1” thick crescents. Add all your veg to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil, the honey, a pinch of salt and a generous amount of fresh cracked pepper (more than you’d usually go for - you want this to have a bit of a kick in contrast with the honey!). Toss the veg to thoroughly coat, then spread out on a sheet pan, evenly spaced out (use two sheet pans here if necessary). Roast at 400 until tender and caramelized, approx 45 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

To bring the salad together: 

In a large mixing bowl, make a quick vinaigrette of olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt & pepper. You want about a bit more dressing than you’d typically use for a salad because the bread will soak up much of it. Mix to taste and adjust to your liking (I like mine with a very bright lemony kick). Add toasted bread, roasted veggies, crumbled feta or goat’s cheese, arugula, and most of your pepitas. Gently toss to combine. Serve the panzanella topped with more pepitas, fresh cracked pepper, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

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