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?

winter panzanella

winter panzanella


Serves 2-3


Winter Panzanella

1 hrTotal Time

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    Butternut squash
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Orange honey roasted brussels sprouts
  • 2 cups brussels sprouts, halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Garlic croutons
  • 2 cups day old bread, cubed
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • sprinkle of sea salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Lemon herb vinaigrette
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Remaining ingredients
  • 6 ounces prosciutto
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • 6 ounces manchego, sliced
  • 6 cups mesclun greens


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Peel butternut squash, seed, and slice into ¼ inch thick slices. Toss with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Toss 2 cups brussels sprouts with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes. Combine the juice of 1 orange with 2 tbsp honey and toss the brussels sprouts in the juice. Roast for another 3-4 minutes or until lightly charred. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Toss 2 cups day-old cubed bread with ½ tsp garlic powder, sprinkle of sea salt, and 2 tbsp olive oil. Bake until golden brown, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Spread the prosciutto on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until crispy. Remove from heat and let cool.
  6. Make the lemon herb vinaigrette. Blend together 3 tbsp lemon juice with 2 tsp dijon mustard, ½ cup parsley, 1 tsp garlic, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp black pepper. Slowly add ½ cup olive oil with the blender on until all of the oil is incorporated. Taste the salad dressing for seasoning, adjusting as needed.
  7. Assemble the salads. Plate mesclun greens into a bowl topped with the roasted butternut squash, brussels sprouts, garlic croutons, crispy prosciutto, pomegranate, and sliced manchego. Serve with lemon herb vinaigrette.


**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.

crispy prosciutto

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.

lemon vinaigrette

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!

winter panzanella


Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.


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