Fall in Love With This Seasonal Salad and a Good Bottle of Wine

If you’re not planning a trip to Vermont or some other destination known for its vibrant fall colors this year, you can still experience those breathtaking hues — at home… on a plate… with a Fall Season Panzanella.

It’s believed that the panzanella salad was invented during the 16th century. It enabled Italian cooks to make use of stale bread as well as garden vegetables.

This version brings together the colors and delicious flavors of a fall garden, and is appealing to vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

This recipe yields 6 servings and can be enjoyed with a bottle of Pinot Grigio from Italy, Sauvignon Blanc from California or New Zealand, or rosé from Provence.


Ingredients for Croutons

* 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

* 5 roasted garlic cloves, mashed

* 3 cups ciabatta bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

* Kosher salt to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Place a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and mashed garlic, stirring to combine.

3. Add bread and season with salt. Stir occasionally until bread is golden on several sides (about 3 minutes).

4. Place skillet in oven and bake, stirring once or twice, until bread is golden brown (about 7 minutes).

5. Remove from oven and transfer to paper towels to cool.

Ingredients for Vinaigrette

* 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

* ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar

* Kosher salt to taste

* ¾ cup canola oil

* 10 sage leaves

* Freshly ground pepper to taste


1. Place mustard, vinegar and a few pinches of kosher salt into a blender bowl.

2. With motor running on medium, slowly drizzle in half the canola oil.

3. Add sage leaves, turn up speed to high and drizzle in remainder of oil.

Note: When all oil has been incorporated, vinaigrette should be pale yellow-green and thick enough to coat a spoon. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Ingredients for Salad

* Extra virgin olive oil, as needed

* 1 cup butternut squash, peeled and finely diced

* ½ cup parsnip, peeled and finely diced

* 15-ounce can large white beans, rinsed and drained

* ¼ cup green onions, thinly sliced

* 4 cups arugula

* Freshly ground pepper to taste

* 2 ounces ricotta salata, shaved


1. Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add a thin film of olive oil.

2. When hot, toss in butternut squash and cook until golden brown along edges, stirring frequently (about 7 minutes).

3. When squash is tender, transfer to paper towels and cool to room temperature.

4. Repeat process with parsnips.

5. When ready to serve, place croutons, squash, parsnips, beans, green onions and greens in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette to taste. Toss and season with pepper to taste.

6. Divide among plates and garnish with ricotta salata.

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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes

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