Panzanella Salad Recipe From Rosa Mexicana

Recipe adapted from John England, Rosa Mexicano, Los Angeles

Panzanella De Calabaza Con Hongos (Chopped Bread Salad With Pumpkin And Mushrooms)
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Panzanella de Calabaza Con Hongos (Chopped Bread Salad with Pumpkin and Mushrooms) 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total time: 45 minutes
  • Croutons
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 6 cups day-old pan de muerto, cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • Salt 
  • Salad
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup sherry vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 sugar pumpkin (about 4 pounds)--peeled, seeded and cut into 1½-inch chunks
  • 6 ounces Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 ounces oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
  • 4 packed cups watercress leaves
  • 3 cups radicchio, sliced crosswise into ¼-inch ribbons
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup queso fresco 
  1. Make the croutons: Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat until it foams. Immediately add the bread cubes and toss to coat. Transfer the bread to a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake the croutons until they are crisp and light brown, about 15 minutes, stirring once after about 8 minutes. Set aside and cool.
  2. Make the salad: Increase the oven to 450°. Place the onion and sherry vinegar in a medium bowl. Add a pinch of salt and set aside.
  3. In a large roasting pan, toss the pumpkin and mushrooms with ¼ cup olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer and bake until the pumpkin is tender and the mushrooms are browned, about 25 minutes.
  4. While the vegetables are roasting, place the pepitas in a dry skillet set over moderately high heat. Toast the pepitas, shaking the pan constantly, until they are light brown and fragrant. Set aside.
  5. Whisk the remaining ½ cup olive oil into the bowl with the vinegar and onions. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the roasted pumpkin with the mushrooms and croutons. Add the onion vinaigrette, watercress, radicchio and tomatoes and toss to coat, adjusting the seasoning if necessary. Garnish with the toasted pepitas and queso fresco and serve immediately.
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