In the Cucina with La Gazzetta: Autumn Panzanella

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This month marks the one-year anniversary of our “Cucina” column and we hope you have been enjoying it! 
In this column we share the cuisine and recipes of Italy and our Italian American communities. Each month we feature recipes curated from our research and those shared by LGI readers.
Food and cooking are important aspects of our cultural identity and sharing recipes is one way for us to connect to our roots and to one another!
We invite you to share your family recipes and the stories behind them with us! For our November issue, we would like to feature your dishes, so if you have a special recipe, we would love to hear from you! Please email your recipes to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before Oct. 10. We also love photographs, so please feel free to share a photograph of your family making or enjoying the recipe; or of a beloved family member who is or was the “cook” in your family!

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Autumn Panzanella with sweet butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and spicy arugula makes a lovely light fall dinner, side salad or the perfect accompaniment for soup! Buon appetito!

Dressing Ingredients:
3 T. Red wine vinegar
1 T. Balsamic vinegar
2 T. Maple syrup
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
½ C. Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Salad Ingredients:
½ Small red onion - thinly sliced vertically
1 Small butternut squash - peeled, cubed and seeded (½-inch cubes)
2 T. Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1-2 C. Brussels sprouts leaves or shredded Brussels sprouts
1 Container (5-oz.) baby arugula
½ C. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ C. Pumpkin seeds - toasted if desired
Whole-Grain Croutons with Thyme

Dressing Directions:
Whisk together red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and Dijon mustard. Slowly whisk in extra-virgin olive oil. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Salad Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the onion in the salad dressing so it softens up slightly and some of the "bite" is removed while roasting the squash and Brussels sprouts. Set aside. Place butternut squash cubes on a nonstick baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Roast for 10 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts leaves (or shredded sprouts) to baking sheet, toss together and place back in the oven for 7-8 minutes or until squash is cooked and Brussels sprouts are slightly crispy. Place croutons, arugula, squash and Brussels sprouts in a large serving bowl. Pour the dressing (with the onions) over the croutons then gently toss the whole salad together. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.