Updated: Feb 7, 2020
After Christmas and New Year's celebrations we all crave something a tad more healthy but still tasty and hearty. This simple Italian food - winter salad is perfect dish to serve to your friends and family in winter months with a bottle of white wine.
Roasting vegetables - can be any winter vegetable of your choice but I prefer to use butternut squash, brussels sprouts and sweet potato:
- 1 medium small butternut squash peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 1 medium sized sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 3-4 Tablespoons cooking olive oil (Important: do not use Extra Virgin oil when cooking on heat)
- flaky sea salt and black/red pepper
For croutons preparation you would need the following ingredients:
- 1 loaf of good quality crusty bread, sliced into 1 inch cubes (about 6 cups)
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
- 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
- A pinch of fine sea salt
And for a simple balsamic dressing:
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon style mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup Apulia Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
And finally, these are your salad base ingredients: - 1 small red onion, finely sliced1 bunch parsley,
- finely chopped1/2 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
- 2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (or any hard cheese if you don't have parmesan)
Preheat the oven to 220C. Toss squash, sweet potato and brussels with oil, salt and pepper. Place in a single layer on two prepared baking sheets and roast until fork tender and lightly browned on all sides. About 30-40 minutes. Toss the bread with the fresh thyme, oil and salt. Place on a prepared baking sheet and toast in the 220C oven until golden on all sides. Roughly 10-12 minutes. Toss the bread halfway through toasting. Remove and set aside to cool for a few minutes.Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Taste test and adjust seasonings if need be.
Assemble the salad by tossing the squash, sweet potato, brussels, bread, onion, parsley, dates and walnuts with the dressing. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and toss until evenly coated. Don't forget to dress with our Apulia organic olive oil and serve at room temperature.Best consumed the same day of the preparation as the croutons can become softened.