Green plates with a salad on a green surface
Photography, Suech and Beck

Christine Flynn’s Winter Panzanella Salad

Homemade hot honey gives this unconventional panzanella a spicy kick.

There’s not a single classic recipe talented chef Christine Flynn can’t put a creative spin on.  There’s her Baked Brie with Hot Honey, her Lemony Spaghetti Squash With Burrata and her Brussels Sprouts With Pecorino (and so many more recipes!). Her inventive (and delicious) dishes hit the spot every single time. For her winter panzanella, she has swapped out tomatoes with sugar pumpkin and delicata squash. This is how she describes it: “A classic panzanella salad is made with ripe tomatoes and stale bread, and this is by no means a classic version. This delicious winter panzanella has all the good stale bread energy you’re used to in a panzanella but also slightly charred and caramelized pumpkin and squash, tons of sage and nutty hazelnuts. A hit of red wine vinegar and a little hot honey carry this panzanella over the finish line.”Christine Flynn, Canadian chef and food writer 

Green plates with a salad on a green surface

Winter Panzanella Salad

Christine Flynn's recipe for a panzanella salad made with winter vegetables and drizzled with homemade hot honey.
Course Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine Canadian, Italian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

Hot Honey

  • 1 cup pure liquid honey
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2-3 long red chilies halved lengthwise
  • 1 tsp dried red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper
  • pinch salt

Toasted Hazelnuts

  • 2 cups shelled raw hazelnuts

Winter Panzanella Salad

  • 1 small sugar pumpkin peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch (5 cm) chunks
  • 1 delicata squash halved, seeded and sliced 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick
  • 2-3 shallots halved
  • ½ loaf stale bread torn into bite-size chunks
  • 1 bunch fresh sage stems removed and discarded and leaves roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pinches salt divided
  • 1 pinch ground red chilies
  • 1 tbsp Hot Honey
  • 1 bunch kale washed and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tbsp hazelnut oil more for drizzling
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 8 oz bocconcini cheese
  • ½ cup Toasted Hazelnuts

Instructions
 

Hot Honey

  • In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine all the ingredients. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then remove the saucepan from the heat. Let cool to room temperature.
  • If you prefer a smooth hot honey, use a fine-mesh sieve to strain out the solids as you transfer the honey to a 16 oz (500 mL) jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. If you use a clean spoon when dipping into the hot honey, it will keep in the refrigerator indefinitely.

Toasted Hazelnuts

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Spread the nuts in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, give the nuts a stir, and check to see if they are golden and smell nuttier than they did before they went in the oven. You’re going to have to use your judgment here, but I find 8 minutes to be a good amount of time for a light toast on a medium-size nut. For a darker toast, or a larger nut, return to the oven for 2 to 4 minutes and then check again. Repeat as necessary, until your nuts are perfectly golden brown. Let cool. Store the toasted nuts in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Winter Panzanella Salad

  • Preheat the oven to 475°F (240°C). Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, place the pumpkin, squash, shallots, bread, sage, olive oil, a pinch of salt and the chilies. Toss to combine.
  • Spread the mixture in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bread is slightly toasted and the pumpkin is easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and drizzle with the hot honey. Stir briefly and set aside to cool while you prepare the other ingredients.
  • In the same large bowl you used to combine the vegetables and bread, place the kale. Add the hazelnut oil, red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt. Massage the ingredients until the kale is evenly coated.
  • Check to make sure the vegetable and bread mixture is not hot; it should be warm or room temperature before you add it or the kale will wilt. Add the roasted vegetable and bread mixture and half of the cheese and hazelnuts to the kale. Toss to combine. Top the salad with the remaining cheese and hazelnuts and a drizzle of hazelnut oil. This salad keeps relatively well. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

A deep green cookbook cover in a light tan frame

Excerpted from A Generous Meal by Christine Flynn. Copyright © 2023 Christine Flynn. Photographs by Suech and Beck. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
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