Disclosure: This post was sponsored by the Grain Foods Foundation and Collectively. As always, my thoughts and opinions are 100% my own! Panzanella gets an autumnal Middle Eastern infusion when toasted whole wheat bread cubes are tossed with sumac-roasted root veggies and a pomegranate roasted red pepper vinaigrette, making for a hearty salad or vegetarian main dish.
I’m the kind of girl who likes to spread the whole grain love.
And my family are the kind of people who projectile vomit when I try to shove barley down their throats.
If that hasn’t stopped me yet, then, honey.
It’s really a mind over matter situation, though, because I’m pretty sure we can all agree that whole grains taste fabulous if you can just get people to give them a try.
And if you can’t, wellllll…..
…there’s always trickery. A little white lie here and there never hurt anyone. And in case you hadn’t guessed – I’m not above such things.
This panzanella, for instance, is made with a hearty crusty whole wheat bread, though you’d never know it because it is cut into large croutons, toasted to crispy-on-the-outside chewy-on-the-inside perfection and then doused with a roasted red pepper pomegranate vinaigrette. Give it a good shake-up with your favorite roasted root veggies and a quality block of feta, and I guarantee you there will be so much sweet savory tangy flavor going on in every bite that the grain-haters in your life will be none-the-wiser.
Just try not to give it away with an uncontrollable giggle spasm when they go back for seconds. That is always my tell. Always.
This panzanella would make for a perfect holiday first course or side dish! If you’re looking for more healthy recipes that incorporate whole grains, or just some information on why incorporating grains into a well balanced diet is good for you, then check out http://www.
- 1 (1 lb) loaf crusty whole wheat bread
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
- 1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
- 5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
- 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1½ tsp sumac
- 1 tsp aleppo pepper
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- ½ lb roasted red peppers
- 1½ tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 8 oz feta, crumbled
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Cut the loaf of bread into 1-inch cubes. Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 10 minutes, or until crispy and starting to brown. Set aside.
- Combine the sweet potatoes, parsnip, and carrots in a large bowl. Toss with 2 tbsp of the olive oil, sumac, aleppo pepper, salt and black pepper. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until tender.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor, combine the roasted red peppers, 2 tbsp olive oil, pomegranate molasses, and white balsamic vinegar. Puree until smooth. Season with salt to taste.
- Toss the toasted bread cubes with the roasted root veggies, roasted red pepper dressing, and feta. Serve warm or at room temperature.