Recipe: Panzanella Salad with Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is a fall favorite, and for good reason! This sweet, nutty vegetable is the perfect way to honor the changing of seasons. In this recipe from Whisk, the squash is slowly roasted until its edges crisp and caramelize, while the center remains soft and sweet. Paired with tart goat cheese, juicy raisins, and homemade croutons, this autumn version of a panzanella salad is dinner done well.

Panzanella Salad with Butternut Squash

Serves 6 – 8

1 small butternut squash
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds or 1/2 cup pepitas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 bunches kale
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 tablespoon za’taar*
1 French loaf, cut into 1” cubes
3 ounces arugula
2 tablespoons raisins
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon tahini

*While the recipe can vary, za’atar is generally a combination of dried oregano, thyme, marjoram, sumac and toasted sesame seeds.

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wrangle the butternut squash by peeling, seeding and slicing it into 1-inch wedges. In a large bowl, toss the squash pieces with the raw pumpkin seeds, olive oil, cayenne, salt and pepper. Spread the mixture evenly on a roasting dish and roast for 40-45 minutes, turning the squash and seeds every 10 minutes until the squash is golden and tender. (If using pepitas, add to the roasting pan for just the last 5 minutes.) Remove from the oven.

2. Meanwhile, massage the kale in 1 tablespoon olive oil for about 2 minutes. Whisk together the dressing ingredients until all the ingredients are fully incorporated. Add half of the dressing to the kale, toss until the leaves are well-coated.

3. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter and stir in the za’taar seasoning. Add the cubes of bread and toss until croutons are evenly coated. Continue sautéing over medium heat until the croutons are golden and crispy.

4. Add the arugula to the kale, and top with the roasted butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, croutons, raisins, red onion and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle with the remaining dressing, and season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy immediately.

About Whisk

A welcoming community for home cooks and professional chefs alike, Whisk is stocked with thousands of unique, high-quality kitchenware and entertaining items. A variety of cooking classes are held every month, suitable for all levels of culinary expertise.

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