Winter Panzanella Recipe – Bread Salad

Panzannella - winter bread salad
If you make or use much good bread, you’ll have bits left over that are a shame to waste. Sourdough is great for this because it lasts without going mouldy much longer than yeasted bread. So you can collect a little stash. The bread needs to be a few days old and dry or drying.

Many people know about the summer panzanella made with juicy & fragrant tomatoes. For this winter salad, I made the bread into crispy parmesan croutons and added some raw and roasted vegetables to make a big, punchy & pretty salad for a main meal.

52 week salad challenge bannerI was asked on twitter if it’s filling enough for hearty appetites. Well this made enough for three hungry gluttons with some left over for a lunch the next day.

This is an ideal way to continue to have salad through the darker parts of the year. It’s another contribution from me to the 52 Week Salad Challenge.

It’s a very simple recipe, read on to find out more…

Winter bread salad recipe – panzanella



300g old bread roughly broken into bite-sized pieces
Extra virgin olive oil
A small handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese or other hard cheese
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Roast vegetables

500g or so butternut squash or other winter squash or pumpkin, peeled
2 medium carrots, scrubbed, topped & tailed
6 or more cloves garlic, peeled and left whole or cut into chunks
1 or more red onion, peeled
Big handful mushrooms
Extra virgin olive oil
Red wine vinegar
A large pinch of chilli flakes
1 tbsp crushed coriander seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp sea salt flakes
A good grind of black pepper


A big handful of winter salad leaves, cultivated or foraged, torn or shredded. I used chickweed
A quarter of a red cabbage, shredded finely
125g grilled halloumi cut into chunks.
Some pea shoots or fresh herbs to garnish


Red wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Pre-heat your oven to 180-200°C.

Pop the bread chunks into a bowl and pour over some of your olive oil, throw in the grated parmesan and season with a little salt & pepper. Mix well so the croutons are well coated. Add some more olive oil if you need it to coat the cubes well.

Cut the squash and carrots into bite sized pieces. Cut the onions into narrow wedges.

Pop the squash, carrots, garlic and mushrooms into a bowl. Glug over some olive oil and vinegar. Sprinkle over the chilli flakes and crushed seeds. Mix well so that the vegetables are well covered. Tip these vegetables onto a solid roasting tray and place in the oven for 20-40 minutes until the vegetables are just tender to the point of a knife.

Take out the roasted vegetables and put them to one side. Pop the croutons in the oven for 20 minutes or so until they are brown and crispy. You can turn off the oven after 10 minutes or so and let them cook in the residual heat of the oven.

Panzannella - winter bread salad close upCombine the roasted vegetables, croutons, salad leaves and shredded cabbage in a big bowl or server. Mix well and sprinkle over some red wine vinegar (about 30ml or to taste), glug over some olive oil to coat (and not drown) the ingredients. Season to taste with sea salt & freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with the halloumi chunks and pea shoots.

Serve and enjoy your feast.


There are lots of options you could include in this salad, it really is very flexible.

You can use all sorts of winter or spring salad leaves, cultivated or foraged, torn or shredded; for example radicchio, endive, bittercress, winter lettuce.

Winter greens, such as kale, cavolo nero or Brussels spouts shredded finely

Other root vegetables, shredded, grated or roasted chunks such as beets, parsnips or turnips

Fresh seasonal fruit such as apples, cut into bite sized pieces

Preserved summer harvest, rehydrated where needed: such as dried tomatoes, dried fruits, peppers, artichokes

Blanched broad or French beans

Capers, or nasturtium capers roughly chopped

You might also enjoy:

Pakora and hot dressed chickweed salad




11 responses to “Winter Panzanella Recipe – Bread Salad”

  1. Monica Avatar

    I have made variations of this recipe twice already: the first time with carrots, parsnips and spelt sourdough; the second with carrots, parsnips and potatoes – no bread which probably means it ceased to be panzanella, but I couldn’t have done it without this recipe. Roasting the root veg with fennel and coriander is a breakthrough for me. I. Am. In. Love. With this flavour combination. Oh and the parmesan-toasted sourdough are basically the best croutons ever. I was wary of using spelt bread but the super-deep flavour worked so well with the winter vegetables. I have a swede coming in my organic box tomorrow that I’m going to try next. One of these days I’ll try it with the recommended pumpkin. Oh, and I highly recommend serving this with a poached egg on top, maybe a sprinkle of paprika. As you say, endless variations. Thank you.

    1. Carl Avatar

      Wow Monica! Great feedback there, thanks so much. I really like the sound of the poached egg on top, that ‘just goes’ 🙂

    2. Isabel @ Fennel and Fern Avatar

      I’m a complete sucker for anything involving poached eggs as well: will definitely try this.

      1. Carl Avatar

        A poached egg will improve just about any dish 😉

  2. VP Avatar

    This is great! It reminds me of being in a big kitchen in Mallorca making pa amb oli one summer with Margalida. It’s their version of bruschetta and utterly delicious. She told me it was the ‘food of the poor’ (cocina pobre), but it was much more than that.

    Yours is like a winter version carrying on in that fine tradition 🙂

    I’ve just found a recipe for raspberry and rose vinegar which I’m going to try as a salad dressing for #saladchat. Just need to find a local rosewater stockist first 🙂

    1. Carl Avatar

      Hi Michelle

      Mallorca experience sounds really great. I will look that recipe up and add it to my mental store for the future. Raspberry & rose sounds like a really fragrant & fruity vinegar. I will look forward to that post very much 🙂

  3. Maureen Avatar

    Winter will be upon us soon and I won’t forget this salad. I always have homemade bread on hand so I’ll be ready!

    1. Carl Avatar

      Yay Maureen, would love to see what you come up with. I think it’s a salad type for all year really and can flow with the season’s fruit and veg 🙂

  4. Mel Avatar

    As you will know from m tabouleh recipe the other week, I think making faourite salads from winter vegetables is brilliant. I also have a little loaf on the go that I made with some whey from a cheese making experiment. I shall probably have a bit leftover, so will be giving this winter version a go soon. Thanks for the recipe

    1. Carl Avatar

      Hi Mel, I’m absolutely with you there. Love using the wey from cheese making, it always seems to me like you’re getting a freebie by using the milk/cream for two purposes or more. Let me know how it goes 🙂