Think winter produce is a snore? This cozy winter panzanella salad recipe is packed with all of the best things. From the dark and brooding Tuscan kale to the roasted delicata squash, sweet tart pomegranate and cranberries, this panzanella recipe is so good you’ll be craving salad, no matter the weather!

winter panzanella salad with pomegranates and squash on pan

Maybe I didn’t get the memo, but even with all the plant-based recipes out there, this dietitian is still obsessed with kale salads. The first reason is FLAVOUR. The second reason is that it holds up so well to dressing so leftovers keep. And this winter panzanella salad recipe, which is sponsored by my friends at Silver Hills Bakery, is sure to become your new favourite kale salad!

What is a panzanella salad?

Panzanella salads hail from Tuscany, assumedly as a delicious way to use up stale bread. We think of classic panzanella salads as tomatoes and bread but amazingly enough, early versions of the salad had a base of onions and purslane as tomatoes didn’t arrive in Italy until later. Traditionally, stale bread was soaked in water and squeezed dry to create a chewy crouton. Considered a classic summer salad, traditional panzanella salads feature tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil and of course, stale bread.

winter panzanella salad ingredients

How to make a winter panzanella salad

For this panzanella-inspired winter salad, I’m starting with a hearty winter green – kale – and opting for fibre-rich Silver Hills Bakery Sprouted Grain Bread. To make it, sprouted grains are crushed into dough, as opposed to being milled into flour. The result? A beautifully textured, hearty and satisfying slice that helps to make this salad even more filling. Plus, each slice has 4-5 grams of fibre and 6 grams of plant-based protein!

You’ll need just 7 ingredients for the salad (a few more for the dressing!) and just 4 simple steps:

  • Roasting the squash and bread: after tossing with olive oil, salt and pepper, roast the squash at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, add the bread to the baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes more.
  • Prep the vegetables: wash and slice the tuscan kale, finely dice the onion, de-seed the pomegranate (or open the container of arils!)
  • Shake up the dressing: in a jam jar, add oil, balsamic, lemon juice, garlic, Dijon and maple syrup with salt and pepper and shake to blend.
  • Arrange the salad: In a large salad bowl, massage the kale with a third of the dressing for a minute so it softens. Then top with squash, toasted bread, onion, pomegranate arils and cranberries and drizzle with a bit more dressing.
close up of winter panzanella salad with bread, squash and pomegranate

Looking for more healthy kale salad recipes?

winter kale panzanella salad with squash and pomegranate in black bowl

Winter Panzanella Salad with Kale and Roasted Squash

This winter panzanella salad has plenty of cozy winter flavour, with crispy sprouted grain croutons, roasted squash and sweet-tart pomegranate and cranberries.
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Ingredients

Salad

  • 4 cups cubed or torn Silver Hills Bakery Organic Big Red’s Bread
  • 1 pound delicata or acorn squash, sliced into 1 inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 bunch Tuscan (lacinato) kale, tough stem removed, finely sliced
  • ¼ cup pomegranate arils
  • ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries

Dressing

  • ½ cup  extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, micro grated or crushed
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • freshly cracked pepper

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit (200° Celsius). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place squash on one half of sheet, toss with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of oil, a pinch of salt and some pepper.
  • Roast for 10 minutes, remove from heat and flip squash. In a medium bowl, toss bread with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of oil, salt and pepper and place on baking sheet with squash. Roast for 10-12 minutes more until squash is tender, and bread is toasted and crisp at the edges. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, to a jam jar, add oil, balsamic, lemon juice, garlic, Dijon, maple syrup salt and pepper. Place lid on and shake up.
  • Place kale in a salad bowl. Drizzle over a third of the dressing and massage kale until it softens and wilts a bit.
  • Top with toasted bread, squash, onion, pomegranate and cranberries. Drizzle with a bit more dressing, and serve with remaining dressing.
  • Will keep, covered, in the fridge for up to 2 days.