The Perfect Winter Salad


Salads always feel so...cold... to me in the winter months.  Now that December has arrived (!), it has been harder to pull out salad greens at mealtime.  The solution? A heartier, warm salad of course.

I had leftover baguette laying around, along with a few spare mushrooms and half of a butternut squash.  I decided to whip up a modified panzanella, and it turned out to be the salad winter has been asking for all along.

There's no real recipe for this salad, but here's the general gist:
  I roasted the butternut squash in a 400F oven for about 20 minutes while I sauteed mushrooms.  Once the squash was finished, I toasted the hazelnuts enough to loosen the skins.  Kale had quick flash in the mushroom pan, just enough to soften but not enough to wilt.  Since the baguette was... uh... hard as a brick, I cut some cubes, briefly wet them with some water to soften, and toasted the cubes in a pan with some oil until crispy.  I used Annie's Goddess dressing (my all time favorite- it's the only dressing I will buy) for the sake of time, but this salad would be great with a vinaigrette heavy on the mustard with a nice dose of white wine vinegar.  

Bring on the winter salads! This one was warming, satisfying, and completely comforting.  Dare I suggest whipping one up tonight while blasting Christmas tunes and pulling out holiday decorations? Enjoy!

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