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{gluten free}

[omit bacon for vegan version]

I’ve never had Delicata squash and wanted to start slowly. Normally I’d roast 3-4 trays of vegetables to have on hand. I saw a recipe in a Williams Sonoma catalog for a gingerbread panzanella that used squash and a pear-based butter.

I started with one squash and a small bunch of carrots, both fresh from the farmers market. I have a bunch of flavored balsamics in the pantry, but regular balsamic works just fine for the dressing. I also happened to have gingerbread butter I bought from Williams Sonoma last year but would have used pumpkin or apple butter from the farmers market. Or even replace with a jam to give the dressing a hint of sweetness and flavor.

This turned out to be a Thanksgiving take on panzanella, an Italian salad incorporating homemade croutons. I had a few mini-loaves — those cute little individual breads — in the refrigerator and used those. I cut the cornbread into 1/2″ cubes, tossed with EVOO and toasted in 450˚ oven for about 10 min, or until it becomes crispy.

If you have leftover roasted vegetables, this is a great way to bring them into a salad. I used arugula, also fresh from the farmers market, but any dark green leaf would be good (spinach, kale, etc).

Roasted Carrot, Delicata Squash and Arugula Cornbread Salad

roasted delicata squash and carrot panzanella saladWhat you need:

  • 1 Delicata squash
  • 1/3 c plus 4 tbs EVOO, divided
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 8 sm carrots, peeled
  • 2 c arugula
  • 4 slices thick bacon, cooked until crispy and chopped
  • 2 c cubed cornbread croutons
  • 2 tbs gingerbread, apple or pumpkin butter
  • 1 tbs Devo Olive Oil Cinnamon and Pear Balsamic (or other balsamic vinegar)
  • Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

What you do:

  • Heat oven to 350˚.
  • Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds.
  • Brush cut sides with 2 tbs EVOO.
  • Sprinkle with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  • Place squash cut side down on baking sheet, leaving room for carrots.
  • In bowl, toss carrots with 2 tbs EVOO and transfer to baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Roast for about 40 min, until caramelized and able to pierce with fork.
  • Remove from oven to cool.
  • Cut squash into 1/2″ chunks and remove peel
  • Cut carrots into 1/2″ chunks.
  • Add arugula to serving bowl.
  • Add bacon, vegetables and croutons.
  • In sm bowl, whisk remaining EVOO, balsamic and gingerbread butter.
  • Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  • Drizzle over salad and serve.