Winter Vegetable Panzanella

So you know panzanella — once you figure out how to pronounce it, it’s really fun to say. Panzanellaaaaa. panz 1It’s that delicious bread salad we make in the summer, with garlic, tons of tomatoes and sweet onions and cucumbers, laced with tons more basil, great red wine vinegar and fruity olive oil. It’s a joy of a summer salad for those few of us anymore who aren’t avoiding carbs — and for the rest, we sneak a bite or make it our treat for the week.

Well here is panzanella in the middle of winter: What gives? This one is also delish — crusty bread folded into cubes of roasted red beets, golden butternut and bright green Lacinato kale — the soft kale with an almost creamy texture. Douse this in a wintery maple mustard vinaigrette and top it with smoked mozzarella and you won’t miss the summer version at all — not yet anyway. Danielle demoed this in January 2015 at Brookside and at US Botanic Garden.

panz 22 C of 1-inch cubes crusty sourdough, a day old (2 large, thick slices)
1 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 lb purple beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 C Lacinato kale, ribs stripped, leaves washed and sliced into strips
½ C red onion, diced
1 apple, cored and cut into cubes (Honey Crisp, Braeburn, Fuji, Kiku, or tart if you prefer)
10 ounces smoked mozzarella, cut into small cubes (can substitute crumbled blue cheese)

Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette

4 T balsamic vinegar
2 t maple syrup
2 t grainy Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
½ C olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425. Toss the beet cubes with a small amount of olive oil, spread them on a baking sheet and roast until just tender, 30-40 minutes. Do the same for the butternut cubes, putting them in another roasting pan and cook until tender but not about to fall apart, about 20-25 minutes.

In a large non-stick sauté pan, heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat and add the bread cubes. Sauté, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Slice the kale and chop the onion and set both in a large salad bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, maple syrup and mustard. Drizzle in the olive oil and whisk to emulsify. Add about half the dressing to the kale and onion, mix well. When the beets, butternut and bread cubes have cooled slightly, add them to the kale and onion. Toss again to coat everything, adding a little more dressing as needed. Just before serving, add apples and mozzarella. Serves 4-6.


Triple Squash Soup

squash

 

The back story on this post, which pulls out a recipe from the archives (Danielle demoed this at Brookside and USBG this year ago) is that Adrienne discovered a (new) squash: Butterkin. Daughter Evangeline, coming in from Boston, wanted to try a pumpkin galette as a hardy vegetarian main course for our family gathering yesterday around Danielle’s table in her Washington DC home. The recipe (stay tuned) called for pumpkins but Evangeline wanted to make it with butternut. The shape wasn’t working however, so off we went to find small pumpkins that would work better. And there, in the hard-squash bins, was a Butterkin — butterkina cross between pumpkin and butternut! So lovely to look at — the skin the nut-color of butternut, the inside flesh like a persimmon — and the perfect size.

So how do we get to the soup? Well, there was quite a bit left over after the galette was executed.  But that wasn’t all. At the farmer’s market earlier in the week, Adrienne fell under the spell of some gorgeous striped squash, which she mistook for Delicata — the vendor concurred as to its pedigree, so her mistake was not entirely without reason. After battling mightily with the squash in an unsuccessful attempt to slice it, she realized the squash was actually an acorn, albeit pale gold with lovely multi-hued stripes, not unlike the skin of Delicata. Well, the two are not interchangeable, especially in the Sweet and Sour Delicata recipe Adrienne was making for the T’G table, so the hard-shelled acorn squash ended up in the crisper, along with the leftover Butterkin. Lo, we have the ingredients for Triple Squash Soup (counting Butterkin as two squashes in one).  This soup is a nice extension of the glories of the Thursday feast, but light enough to merit space on the Friday or Saturday table — or any time during the winter, for that matter.

1 (about 3 lbs.) small pie pumpkin
1 (about 1½ – 1¾ lbs.) acorn squash
1 (about 1½ – 2 lbs.) butternut squash
1 medium onion, chopped
1 apple, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
2 tablespoons honey
2½ teaspoon curry powder
¼ t cayenne
1 can lite coconut milk
4-6 cups vegetable broth
Salt to taste

Roast the squash: cut each squash in half, put face down on a cookie sheet, add about 1 cup of water to the pan. Roast in 375̊ oven for 40-50 minutes, until soft. Cool, remove seeds, scrape flesh from half of each squash into a bowl and set aside. You want to yield about 2½- 3 lbs. of flesh. (This step can be done up to three days in advance)

Make the soup: heat 2 Tbs. olive oil in a large stock pot, sauté the onions until soft. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, cayenne and apple, stir well and let cook two or three minutes. Add the squash and broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Add coconut milk, honey and continue simmering for another 30-45 minutes, until all ingredients are very soft. Puree the soup, with a hand-help machine, a blender, or pureeing in batches with a food processor. Adjust taste for salt. Garnish with paprika.  Serves 6-8.


Apple, Beet and Walnut Salad with Lemon-Miso Vinaigrette

apple beetMiso is a fermented soybean paste, originated in China, perfected in Japan, that gives this lemon vinaigrette an incredibly satisfying sweet-salty-nutty flavor known as “umami.” Miso is available at most supermarkets in the international food section or in the freezer or refrigerator with other soy products. This recipe calls for the most versatile of the three popular grades of miso — “white” or “yellow” miso, also called shiso in the Japanese tradition. Other recipes for using miso can be found on this website, search under “miso.” This recipe was demoed at USBG October 9, 2014. Read More


Curried Parsnip and Apple Soup

ParsnipSoup (7)This rich, tasty pureed soup comes from the archives of Fine Cooking, with some of our own adaptations. Adrienne has made this using sweet potatoes instead of Yukons, with splendid results and if you are avoiding carbs on general principle, you can leave out the potato altogether. You may find that you have to add more broth or water at the end, after pureeing, in order to get the consistency just right. That’s because all these vegetables vary widely in how much juice they each contain — the fresher and younger the fruit or veggie, the juicier it will be and vice versa. Regardless, the meld of flavors here is just terrific and this will most certainly become a favorite winter soup. Demoed at Brookside and USBG in September 2014. Read More