The first day of fall felt more like the peak of summer. For a moment I thought September must be the new August, which just doesn’t seem right. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the weather report predicting that things will be back to normal in a couple days.
With these strange late September hot days, I’ve been in a state of wardrobe and eating confusion. It doesn’t seem ok to be wearing sandals right now, but I’m doing it anyway.
Despite the thick humid air and high temperatures, I’ve been charging ahead with soup and root vegetables. I even bought a pumpkin. When winter strikes in a couple months, I know I will regret my decision to push on with fall instead of savoring every last second of summer.
I figured the best way to deal with this crazy weather was to revisit one of my summer staples, and I made a fall panzanella salad. Bread salads are one of my favorite ways to devour the tomato surplus from July to August.
It was a fight for oven space with this recipe. I started by toasting cubes of multigrain bread to give them plenty of time to cool before folding them with everything else. Letting them cool a bit lets them crisp up more, so they can better soak up the vinaigrette.
Next I roasted sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts on separate sheet pans until the sprouts were browned at the edges and the sweet potatoes were tender.
I combined the toasted bread, brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Then I folded in pomegranate seeds, a handful of baby greens and minced chives. I’m a big fan of tart pomegranate seeds.
Since this fall panzanella salad didn’t have any juicy tomatoes, I relied on sherry vinaigrette to bring all the different ingredients together.
Fall Panzanella Salad
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 37-40 minutes
- Total Time: -26142715.25 minute
- Yield: Serves 4
1/2 loaf seedy multigrain bread (about 6 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoons black pepper
2 large sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds) peeled and diced
1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
1 handful baby greens
2 tablespoons minced chives
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the bread, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper on a sheet pan and spread into a single layer. Bake for 12-15 minutes until toasted and golden brown.
Toss the sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Spread on 2 sheet pans, and roast for 25 minutes until the sprouts are browned at the edges and the sweet potatoes are tender.
Place the toasted bread, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts and pomegranate seeds in a large bowl. Stir in the baby greens and chives.
For the vinaigrette, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil garlic, salt and pepper. Toss with the salad.