Roasted Beet Panzanella Salad – toasted bread with roasted beets, fresh tomato, parsley, and creamy burrata cheese all tossed together with a bright and tangy balsamic vinaigrette. An easy to prepare nourishing and insanely delicious salad.
Panzanella salad is a rustic humble dish, typically made from day-old stale bread and fresh veggies. A salad that is ideally suited for this week between Christmas and New Years when you still want something a little bit special but your body is screaming for nutrition (or at least mine is). Also perfect for any time of the year when all you want is carbs and cheese but you know a salad is a better choice, enter the genius Panzanella.
This version of Panzanella salad takes on a cooler weather twist with warm earthy roasted beets, crunchy bits of toasted bread, fresh parsley, and rich and creamy burrata cheese. All tossed together in a tangy balsamic vinaigrette. Perfect for a quick and easy main meal, hearty lunch, or as a lovely side dish to roasted chicken or a grilled steak.
When I was left with 2 extra baguettes from Christmas dinner I knew a Panzanella salad was in order. Tomatoes are typically a necessity in a Panzanella salad, but they aren't exactly the veggie of the winter season. I found some decent tomatoes at my market and then spotted these gorgeous beets. A new winter Panzanella salad was born!
Seasonal produce will always be my greatest inspiration for new recipes and this recipe is no exception. If you find that your tomatoes are not winter worthy you can either roast them or eliminate completely. The salad will survive without them.
Tips for Making the Perfect Panzanella Salad:
- Make sure your bread is stale. Stale bread will hold up in this salad and not turn too soggy. If you use fresh bread you will have a soggy salad, and no one likes a soggy salad.
- Add crunchy veggies, I love the bite and crunch of red onion in this salad, it's the perfect counterpoint to the sweet beets, creamy cheese, and soft bread.
- Add fresh herbs, I used parsley in this version but basil is more traditional. You could also go greek and add fresh dill and feta cheese rather than burrata.
- Serve immediately. This isn't a salad that should sit and wait for you. I love giving the bread just a few minutes to soak in some of the tangy dressing and then it's time to dig in.
- I love how burrata cheese (mozzarella cheese with a creamy center, like the molten cake of the cheese world) melts into the salad for added creaminess, but any cheese, or no cheese at all will work equally well.
- Use really good olive oil. There are only a few ingredients in this dressing, and olive oil is a major component. First cold pressed, unfiltered, ideally organic.
- Beets – Excellent liver support due to the betaine in beet juice which stimulates liver function.
- Fresh parsley – Packed with beneficial nutrients, antioxidants, and minerals. High in vitamins K, C, and A.
Roasted Beet Panzanella Salad with Burrata Cheese
- Scrub beets well. Wrap in parchment paper and roast in 400° oven for 40-60 minutes or until they yield when pierced with a small knife. Set aside, when beets are cool enough to handle dice into eights.
- Toss bread with 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 tsp salt, spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in a 350° oven for 10 minutes. Set aside
- Whisk all ingredients together and set aside.
- Toss beets, bread, tomato, onion, and parsley with dressing. Top with burrata cheese, serve immediately.
- Nutrition facts are estimated.
- Golden, red, candy stripe, or any type of beet will work. As will pre-roasted beets.
- I find baguette works well, but any day old bread is sufficient.