Fall Cornbread Panzanella Salad

I’m hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year, and I don’t know about you, but I think it’s fun to add a more unique side to the mix of traditional fare usually served at a Thanksgiving feast.  I threw together this salad recently and all I could think while I was eating it is that it pretty much embodies “fall in a bowl.”  The jewel toned colors of the vegetables served warm over a bed of spinach and hearty cornbread is somehow both healthy and comforting at the same time.  I think it would be the perfect addition to your holiday table and could even serve as a stuffing substitute for the more health conscious diner.  Here’s to adding a little variety at your Thanksgiving table this year!

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This salad has three components that need to be made before assembling the salad.  Start by making a simple cornbread.  I’ve included a gluten free version in this recipe, but you could certainly make a regular version if you aren’t sensitive to gluten.   Let the cornbread cool and then cube it and toss it with a few tablespoons of oil.   Toast it in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or so.

The second component is a mixture of root vegetables, red onions and brussels sprouts that are roasted until caramelized.  Meanwhile, mix the ingredients for the salad’s  vinaigrette.

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Once you have all the components, simply toss everything together with some gorgonzola cheese, sugared pecans and fresh spinach and drizzle with the vinaigrette.

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Fall Cornbread Panzanella Salad (adapted from Naturally Ella)

Ingredients:

CORNBREAD

1 1/4 c flour

3/4 c cornmeal

1/4 c sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 c buttermilk

1/4 c melted butter

1 egg

ROASTED VEGGIES

1 sweet potato

1 1/2 cups quartered brussels sprouts

1/2 medium red onion, diced

1 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

SALAD
1/2 cup sugared pecans chopped
1 oz gorgonzola cheese
3 cups fresh spinach
DRESSING
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  Preheat oven to 350˚. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and sea salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, butter and buttermilk. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until batter is just combined. Pour into a greased 9″ square pan and bake until golden, about 20 min.  Allow to cool.  Cut cornbread into ½” cubes.  Toss with 2 tbsp oil and place on a cookie sheet. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees and toast the cornbread for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  To roast vegetables, peel and cut sweet potatoes into ½” cubes. Toss with quartered brussels sprouts, onion, 1 tbsp oil, salt, and pepper. Place in the oven and roast until vegetables are tender and caramelized, about 30 minutes, tossing halfway through.
  Meanwhile, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and maple syrup in a dressing carafe. Shake well until vinaigrette is combined.
  Toss roasted vegetables, toasted cornbread, spinach, pecans and gorgonzola cheese in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing on top and toss to coat.
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Roasted Pine Nut and Date Cauliflower

By Megan 

Let’s be honest Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that just needs a little something to make it truly palatable unless of course you are one of those rare people that enjoy chomping on raw veggies.  Even when I was on a mostly raw diet, I couldn’t learn to enjoy it plain.  I am a lover of vegetables so I knew that if I didn’t enjoy cauliflower that much there was no way I was going to get my husband to eat it.  This recipe proved me wrong!  My husband ate most of the entire recipe and loved it so much I made a variation of the same dish the next day.  Prepare to fall in love with Cauliflower all over again…….or for the first time ha!Image

Another major plus to this recipe is that it is super easy.  Start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees.  Cut the cauliflower into small chunks and spread evenly over a cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Bake for 25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.

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Now for that component that makes this cauliflower so delicious…..the “sauce”.  I put it in quotations because it’s not really a sauce but I’m not sure what else to call it.  In a separate pan toast the pine nuts in some olive oil and after a few minutes add garlic, dates, salt and pepper.  Let simmer for 2-3 more minutes.

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Place the cooked cauliflower in a bowl and then just simply pour the “sauce” over the top and mix.  This dish reminded me of something you would eat on Christmas.  It made me feel all warm and cozy inside.  I hope it makes you feel just as nostalgic!

Tips: I used olive oil instead of the butter the recipe calls for.  The second time I made it I substituted half the oil for balsamic vinegar and a tsp. of brown sugar for all you fat conscious people out there.  It was equally as delicious and I did not miss the extra fat at all.

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Roasted Cauliflower with Dates and Pine Nuts (From 5 Ingredient Fix)

1 large head Cauliflower cut into florets

Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

4 Tbs. unsalted butter or olive oil

1/3 cup pine nuts

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup pitted Medjool dates, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Evenly spread the cauliflower on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to the oven and roast, tossing once with a spatula, until golden brown at the edges, about 20 minutes.

Put the butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat.  Once it’s melted, add the pine nuts and cook, stirring frequently, until they’re light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and dates and continue cooking until the garlic and dates are softened, 2 to 3 minutes more; season with salt.

Transfer the hot cauliflower to a serving bowl, drizzle the pine nut mixture over the top, and toss to combine.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary and serve warm or at room temperature.