I really love panzanella salad. We seem to make it at least once a week in the summer, using our fresh tomatoes and basil from our garden, perhaps some peppers, and maybe cucumbers too. In the spring we make it with asparagus and peas.
And in the winter, we really enjoy this version with roasted root veggies. You can use any root vegetables you've got on hand, and this is a great way to use up any bread (even bread that's nearly stale). Panzanella is extremely adaptable, so feel free to experiment!
1 large sweet potato
1/2 bulb fennel
5 cups cubed bread
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Peel sweet potatoes, carrots, and parsnips. Cut all veggies, including fennel, into 1-2 cubes. Place all vegetables on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle a few pinches of salt, a couple cracks of pepper, and a dusting of garlic powder. Toss all together until veggies are coated with oil and spices. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove vegetables from oven, let cool for a few minutes, and then place them in a large bowl and set aside.
Lower oven temp to 350 degrees. On a separate sheet pan, toss bread cubes with a drizzle of olive oil and a few pinches of salt. Bake cubes for 5-7 minutes, until they begin to brown. Remove from oven and place bread cubes in the same bowl with the roasted veggies.
While bread is toasting, make the dressing. Whisk together the oil and vinegar, along with the minced garlic, and a few pinches of salt. Season to taste.
Pour the dressing over the bread and veggies, and toss well to coat. Serve immediately.