Fall Panzanella with Roasted Chickpeas, Butternut Squash, Corn, Kalamatas, and Goat Cheese

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  4 servings
Prep Time:  12 minutes Cook Time:  20 minutes

Fall Panzanella with Roasted Chickpeas, Butternut Squash, Corn, Kalamatas, and Goat Cheese

Panzanella, the Italian bread salad, is typically a showcase for summer’s bounty. This one is all about the delights of autumn. The recipe calls for sumac, a Mediterranean seasoning with a warm, tangy flavor. If you don’t have it in your pantry, you can omit it, but you could also take this opportunity to search it out and try it, because it adds unmatched flavor.

Ingredients

2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed well and rained

2 cups pre-cut butternut squash (about 12 ounces)

1 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1½ teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon ground sumac, optional

1 (1-pound) batard-size loaf sourdough bread or other rustic bread 

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

½ cup toasted salted pistachios (see Kitchen Tips)

½ cup pitted kalamata olives

Kernels of 2 ears fresh corn or ⅔ cup frozen roasted or regular corn kernels, defrosted (see Kitchen Tips)

½ cup soft but crumbly goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 2 baking sheets with nonstick vegetable oil spray and set aside.
  2. Combine the chickpeas, squash, ½ cup of the olive oil, ½ teaspoon of the salt, ½ teaspoon the black pepper and sumac in a mixing bowl and toss to coat. Pour onto 1 of the prepared baking sheets, spreading the vegetables out in a single layer, bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the squash is soft and cooked through but not mushy.
  3. Cut the bread into ½-inch cubes. Arrange the pieces on the other baking sheet and drizzle with ¼ cup of the olive oil, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the black pepper, and toss to coat. Bake for 5 minutes, stir gently and return to the oven for another 5 to 7 minutes, until the bread is crisped (see Kitchen Tips).
  4. When the chickpeas and butternut squash are ready, transfer them to a large mixing bowl, add the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil, the vinegar, pistachios, olives, corn and toss gently to coat. Add the bread and cheese and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Kitchen Tips

  1. You can find toasted or roasted nuts in most supermarkets, but if you can’t, or if you prefer to roast your own, try The Weiser Kitchen’s Roasted Nuts recipe. If someone at your table is allergic to nuts, try toasted sunflower seeds instead.
  2. To cut the kernels off a fresh ear of corn, shuck it well and place it on a work surface. Cut it in half crosswise. Stand it on the work surface, cut-side-down, and with a sharp knife, cut downward to remove the kernels.
  3. You can bake both the vegetables and the bread at the same time; just put the vegetables on the bottom oven rack, and then, when the vegetables are half done, put the bread in on the top rack.

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