If you’re trying to figure out what to bring to a Friendsgiving potluck or Thanksgiving this year, you’ve come to the right spot. Roasted root vegetable panzanella with maple and brown butter dressing is the answer.
For this recipe, we lean on in-season root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and beets, along with hearty kale, for a twist that fitting to fall. A maple brown butter dressing infused with fresh rosemary ties everything together and a scattering of crumbled goat cheese adds a creamy tang to every forkful.
Mix and Match Root Vegetables
In the recipe, I intentionally keep the selection of root vegetables up to you. That’s because it's fall and we are bursting at the seams with a wide variety of root vegetables—you never know what you might find on your visit to the grocery store or the farmers market.
I opt for a colorful mix of carrots, beets, parsnips, and sweet potatoes, but even if you just select one or two, you won’t be disappointed.
Make this Salad up to 4 Hours Ahead
“Make-ahead” and “salad” don’t usually go hand in hand, but panzanella is an exception. Traditionally, panzanella is a Tuscan salad of crunchy bread and vegetables that's made in the summer using juicy ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, and fresh herbs. The longer the salad sits, the bread soaks up the dressing and juices from the vegetables, which means it can sit for a few hours without any risk of it getting soggy and sad. This panzanella recipe is no different.
While you can dig into it almost immediately, you can make it up to 4 hours in advance. Technically, it can hold for even longer because the vegetables won't wilt and the bread will continue to soak up more flavor. I recommend refreshing it right before serving with a generous drizzle of olive oil and vinegar. You may also need to season it with a bit of salt and black pepper.
Panzanella: A Side Dish or the Thanksgiving Star
Panzanella can be a side or the star. It has enough heft to be a meatless main dish—my husband and I have enjoyed it many times on its own for a simple and satisfying weeknight dinner. It’s also well-suited to entertain with and be served at your Thanksgiving feast.
More Delicious Thanksgiving Sides
Roasted Root Vegetable Panzanella
For the salad
8 ounces (1/2 loaf) sourdough or country-style bread
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more as needed
2 pounds root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
For the brown butter dressing
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium bunch (about 6 ounces) lacinato kale, destemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
4 ounces goat cheese
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Arrange the oven rack to the center of the oven.
Tear the bread:
Tear or slice the bread into 1-inch cubes. You should have about 4 cups cubed bread.
Season and toast the bread:
Place the cubed bread on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and toss with your hands to coat. Spread it out into an even layer and bake, tossing halfway through, until dry and golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside on the baking sheet to cool.
Roast the vegetables:
Add the root vegetables and onion on a separate rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil, and season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Toss with your hands to coat and spread out in an even layer.
Roast the vegetables, tossing halfway through, until tender and caramelized, 40 to 45 minutes.
Make brown butter dressing:
Meanwhile, cut the butter into a few pieces and place it in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter just begins to toast, get brown, and has a nutty aroma, about 4 minutes total.
Add the rosemary and stir until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, salt, and black pepper.
Massage the kale:
Place the kale in a large bowl. Use your hands to massage the leaves until they feel less stiff, about 1 minute.
Assemble the salad:
Once the vegetables are roasted, transfer them to the bowl of kale. Add the toasted bread and pour the dressing all over. Toss well to coat everything.
Let the salad rest at room temperature for at least 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, to distribute the dressing. Crumble the goat cheese on top and toss gently to combine.
Serve or cover and store at room temperature for up to 4 hours. Before serving, taste and season with a splash of vinegar, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and black pepper.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 24g||31%|
|Saturated Fat 9g||47%|
|Total Carbohydrate 50g||18%|
|Dietary Fiber 7g||26%|
|Total Sugars 11g|
|Vitamin C 32mg||159%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|