i think i may prefer toasted, stale bread over fresh bread. or at least i do in french toast, croutons, and this salad. since we are in the middle of winter, delicious heirloom tomatoes are nothing but a memory of summer and i thought panzanella might be also. here i simply roasted some root vegetables and winter squash and tossed it with some large cubes of toasted bread and a light herb vinaigrette made with some delicious olio nuovo from market. next time, i will add some roasted brussel sprouts and maybe some lightly pickled red onion for a bit of acidity.
loaf of day old bread, cut or torn into large cubes
selection of winter vegetables, prepared for roasting. i used carrots, sweet potatoes, yukon gold potatoes, delicata squash, and an onion. if you find respectable cherry or grape tomatoes, slice them in half and roast them in the oven also.
fresh herbs of your choice. i used parsley, mint, and some green onions.
your preferred light vinaigrette. this is an excellent guide. i am always a bit heavy on the mustard, but adjust to your liking.
toss the cubed vegetables in olive oil, salt, and any sort of spicing you like. i think a bit of cumin or smoked paprika would be good. roast the vegetables in a hot oven until tender. while this is happening, toss the bread cubes in a bit of olive oil and salt and toast. make the vinaigrette. after the veggies cool slightly, toss everything together with the vinaigrette. you want just enough to coat everything lightly and for the bread to absorb some. set aside for a bit to let the flavors mingle and enjoy it by itself, on top of some salad greens, or under roasted chicken.