A twist on the traditional panzanella salad using fall vegetables and homemade whole-grain croutons. This is the perfect salad for adding to your fall harvest table! The sweet potatoes have immune-boosting carotenoids. The Brussels sprouts have disease-preventing sulfur compounds.
For the roasted vegetables:
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
8 Brussels sprouts, halved, ends trimmed and outer leaves removed
4-6 smashed garlic cloves
2 Tbs. olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
For the croutons:
Small loaf of whole grain bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 Tbs. olive oil
5 Tbs. sunflower seeds
Generous pinch of sea salt
For the balsamic vinaigrette:
¾ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Pinch each of salt and ground black pepper
For the salad base:
1 bag spring mix greens (washed if not already pre-washed)
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl toss the prepped vegetables with 2 Tbs. olive oil, salt and pepper until evenly coated. Spread vegetables in an even layer onto one of the prepared baking sheets. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes on the lower rack, tossing once halfway through cook time, until sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts are fork tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
3. In the same large bowl as Step 2, toss the cubed bread and sunflower seeds with 2 Tbs. of olive oil and sea salt. Spread evenly on the second prepared baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
4. In a small mason jar, add the balsamic vinaigrette ingredients. Secure lid and shake vigorously for 1 minute or until emulsified. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender or whisk in a small bowl to emulsify.
5. Add the spring mix greens to a large salad bowl and toss gently with sliced red onion and enough vinaigrette to lightly coat leaves (about 1/4c, more per your preference). Add the roasted vegetables and croutons and toss to combine. Add additional vinaigrette, a few tablespoons at a time, as needed. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator 15 minutes before serving.