For the longest time, I avoided putting croutons in my salads. Adding croutons seemed to make the salad unhealthy but lately, I have been loving the addition of bread. Why the change of heart? The discovery of homemade croutons. When I made this winter Panzanella, I realized that sometimes a salad just needs croutons. Besides, if it's homemade, it's a little healthier, right?
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
If you only make one salad this entire winter, please make it this winter Panzanella. It has everything good in one bowl from roasted butternut squash to orange roasted brussels sprouts to crispy prosciutto to tart pomegranate. Seriously, it's all of winter's best produce put into one dish. Everything is prepared in the oven so not only is this salad delicious, but it's also easy to throw together.
Roast the butternut squash with the basics, olives oil, salt, and pepper, until tender, about 25 minutes. At the same time, roast the brussels sprouts, finishing them with orange juice for a hint of sweetness. Grab another sheet pan and toast the bread croutons and make the prosciutto. Cooking the prosciutto makes it salter so a little goes a long way.
While everything is cooking in the oven, make the lemon herb vinaigrette. No complicated dressing needed here, just a little brightness to compliment all the flavors.
Toss together the roasted vegetables, crispy prosciutto, croutons, and salad greens and finish with pomegranate, manchego, and lemon vinaigrette.
When I was thinking about the flavors for this winter Panzanella, I figured this combination would be good but I didn't realize it would be beyond great. I ate this salad every day for a week and I'm still thinking about it!
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