Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Autumn Vegetables

Some of our favorite vegetables are in season like Brussels sprouts and butternut squash. This recipe from the San Francisco Chronicle by Amanda Gold combines the vegetables plus toasted croutons in a fall version of panzanella. Panzanella usually combines stale bread cut in cubes with fresh tomatoes, olive oil and vinegar. This recipe takes the panzanella into fall. Here's the link

Sorry charley29, I forgot to take pictures again. Too hungry I guess.

Autumn Panzanella my way

2 cups day-old Italian bread or levain, cut into 1-inch cubes
6 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 of 1 large butternut squash, stem end trimmed and cut in half lengthwise (I'm going to make soup with the other half)
1 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, halved or quartered, ends trimmed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small shallot, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Scoop out the seeds from the butternut squash. I've found a melon baller works best. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Coat cut size with a thin layer of olive oil, about 1 tablespoon. Place cut side down on baking sheet. Bake for ~ 30 minutes until flesh is soft and skin or peel browns and blisters. Remove from oven and let cool. The skin will peel off.

On half of one rimmed baking sheet, toss the bread cubes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Spread out in a single layer. On the other half of the sheet pan, do the same with the Brussels sprouts, using another 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.

Bake the bread for about 10 minutes, shaking the pan once about halfway through cooking. Place in a large bowl and set aside. Let Brussels sprouts cook for about 20 minutes, turn them over so that both sides brown.

While the bread and vegetables are roasting, make the vinaigrette. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and stir to coat. Cook until the butter begins to take on a golden brown color and nutty aroma, stirring periodically, about 4-5 minutes. Take care not to let the butter burn. Remove from heat, and whisk in the remaining olive oil, lemon juice and syrup. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

When the vegetables are done, add them to the bowl, along with the sliced onions. Toss everything together with the vinaigrette and toss with the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice if needed.

I cooked turkey Italian sausages and finished them with a splash of olive oil and red wine vinegar. It was a wonderful combo. We drank a Beringer Meritage with our dinner and it was a great match. Enjoy!

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