Well, I survived Las Vegas! It’s good to be back. I’ll never take fresh air for granted again, I promise. Spending most of the week inside the convention center and then staying at the Venetian with that fake blue sky got me craving outdoor time like whoa. I need some grass under my toes and a little breeze in my hair. Oh and a salad, I’m ready for a big ‘ol salad. It’s pretty much the only thing I crave after being away from home. This one still has mostly winter vibes but the freshness from the lemon juice and delicate red tipped lettuce gives hints to a new season right around the corner. Thanks to a medley of roasted root vegetables it all makes for quite a hearty main dish. Heck, I’m eating it for breakfast right now topped with a fried egg. I’ll be phone banking/canvassing for my favorite presidential candidate again all weekend! This salad is sure to keep me going!
Ingredients for the Panzanella Salad
1 small head red leaf lettuce
1 small bunch purple kale (or any kale you like)
1 red onion
1/2 pound potatoes
1 large turnip
10 small radishes (about 8 oz)
6 cups cubed ciabatta bread (or other stale bread you have on hand)
2 ounces parmesan cheese, shaved
2 tablespoons olive oil for roasting the root vegetables
salt to taste
Ingredients for the Lemon, Maple, Mustard Dressing
juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon mustard
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
generous pinch of salt
Wash and quarter the root vegetables and chop them so they are about all the same size, roughly half an inch to an inch bite-sized pieces. Slice the onion into half moons. Toss all the veggies with olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt. Place on baking sheet and bake in oven at 400F for 20- 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork. While the veggies roast prepare the greens. Wash and chop the kale and lettuce. Place the kale into a large bowl – set the lettuce aside. When the veggies are finished roasting place all of the steaming hot vegetables directly into the bowl with the kale. The heat from the veggies will gently wilt and tenderize the kale. To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a jar or glass and whisk with a fork. Add the cubed ciabatta and red leafed lettuce to the salad and pour the dressing over everything and serve.
If your bread is still fresh just cube it or tear it into smallish pieces and place it on a baking sheet to roast in the oven. Place the cubed bread in the oven while it preheats before roasting the veggies just until light brown and toasty.