Panzanella is an Italian creation known as “bread salad.” The savory dish typically involves tomatos and summer vegetables. I decided to put my own spin on it, and created a sweeter salad to showcase some fall fruits.
This recipe is for six servings, but can easily be multipled for a larger crowd (or divided for a single serving). The dish is lightly sweetened and can work as a heathy dessert or component of dinner or breakfast.
Fall Fruit Panzanella, serves 6
- 6 slices Nature’s Pride 100% Whole Wheat bread
- 6Tbsp chopped walnuts
- 6Tbsp butter or butter substitute
- 2cups uniformly chopped pears – I recommend Bosc, but the mild Asian would work as well
- 2cups uniformly chopped apples – Honeycrisp, Gala, or any non-sour variety will do
- 6tsp brown sugar
- 3tsp ground cinnamon
- 2pinches salt
- Lightly toast slices of bread. Remove the crusts, and cube bread into small uniform pieces. Each slice should yield approximately 20cubes; it is easiest to stack the bread and cut all at once.
- In a skillet over medium heat, toast the chopped walnuts. This should take 2-3minutes; the walnuts are finished when you just start to smell them toasting. Set aside the toasted walnuts.
- Reduce heat to low and melt the butter, swirling to coat the bottom of the skillet.
- Add chopped apples and pears to the melted butter. Cook 6-7minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit has just started to soften.
- Add cubed bread to the fruit in the skillet. Sprinkle in cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt and toss to coat everything evenly.
- Continue to cook the mixture, on low heat, for 1-2minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
- Remove panzenella from skillet and top with toasted walnuts.
Note – this recipe was my entry to be a Nature’s Pride Bread Ambassador at the 2010 Foodbuzz Festival.