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Winter Panzanella with Apple Dressing

Panzanella is my favorite salad, but made with tomatoes. Since good tomatoes are hard to find in the winter, I created this winter version, using roasted butternut squash, apple and cranberries.—Julie Merriman, Cold Brook, New York
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    14 servings (1 cup each)


  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Dash each salt and pepper
  • 1 loaf sourdough bread (1 pound), cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons each minced fresh basil, cilantro and mint, divided
  • 1 cup fresh arugula
  • 1 medium apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pitted Greek olives, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 1/4 cup chopped peeled apple
  • 2 tablespoons honey, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon apple brandy or apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • Place squash cubes in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven and cool.
  • In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon each basil, cilantro and mint. Transfer to a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
  • Place the cooled squash, arugula, apple slices, onion, cranberries, olives, lime juice and zest, croutons and remaining herbs in a large bowl.
  • In a small skillet, cook apple in 1 tablespoon each honey and oil over medium heat until apple is softened and caramelized, stirring often. Transfer to a blender.
  • Add the vinegar, brandy, mustard, salt, pepper and remaining honey. Cover and process until pureed. While processing, gradually add remaining oil in a steady stream. Drizzle over salad; toss to coat.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 276 calories, 13g fat (2g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 363mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 4g fiber), 5g protein.
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  • dmrowell
    Jan 26, 2013

    Put together other ingredients while squash cubes and apples cooked. Used premade artisan croutons to save a little time. Also used spring mix instead of just arugula. Omitted olives, red onion, and lime but added some leftover rotisserie turkey breast from deli - tasted great with apples, cranberries, and squash. Will definitely make again!

  • t-macka
    Jan 9, 2013

    Beautiful salad. I couldn't get any apple Brandy but the Apple Cider was fine for us. Well worth the effort! Will now stay in my "Keeper" Book.

  • thomsmom
    Jan 8, 2013

    I have not made this yet but will serve it next week with a pork roast. I'm not trying to be nasty, but baking squash cubes and bread in the oven for a while and then cooking a bit of apple does not seem to be much cooking to me, and I think one could always substitute apple sauce for the cooked apple altho it would loose a little bit of "yummy". Thanks for the recipe.

  • mas4144
    Jan 8, 2013

    I love salads and would rather have a really good salad instead of steak. I thought this recipe looked really good in the picture. Then I read the recipe and directions and decided this is entirely too much trouble for a salad. Too much cooking of this and that. I will stick to my favorite cobb salad.

  • jammin gm
    Jan 8, 2013

    I love the freshness of the salad. I added more of the Cilantro. Its flavor is so fresh. I use it all of the time. This is a keeper..

  • babskitchen
    Jan 8, 2013

    they only thing I would change is the cilantro, otherwise yum yum