I am fully immersed in the Fall season now and all it has to offer. Basically all things pumpkin. But the Fall season has so may other fantastic flavors to offer.

 

Mushrooms for one. And so many gorgeous leaf lettuces. One of those lesser known but incredibly gorgeous and flavorful fall lettuces is the radicchio. Pronounced “ra dik ee o”. Okay, I am positive that is not the official phonetic spelling but let’s go with it.

Salad is not really something that I crave when the weather starts to get chilly, but thick chunks of crusty bread drizzled with herb-infused dressing is.

And so the panzanella salad is perfect. The traditional panzanella is made during the summer to use up stale or day old bread and take advantage of the abundance of tomatoes.

I love that a panzanella salad can be created for each season.

 

Earthy, warm and toasty. This panzanella with grilled radicchio, baby Portobello mushrooms and a flavorful oregano-thyme dressing goes beautifully with any grilled meats or just on its own.

 

Start by cutting the radicchio in half.

Lightly brush and salt each half and then place on a grill pan or panini maker (or just on a saute pan). 

 Leave on the grill until you get grill marks to your liking and the lettuce is slightly softened but still somewhat firm.

 Cut into one inch pieces, place in a bowl and set aside.

 Next are the mushrooms. Baby Portobello mushrooms. These are tender so no cooking is necessary. You can even leave on the stalks as they are not very tough or woody.

Thinly slice the mushrooms and place on top of the radicchio.

Next is the bread. I used a rustic baguette that I sliced in half.

I then lightly brushed with olive oil and grilled each of the halves in the same way that I did the radicchio.

 

Once grilled I cut the halves into one inch pieces. Place on top of the radicchio and mushrooms and set aside.

 

For the dressing I used a white wine vinegar, but you could easily substitute a red wine vinegar here as well. I poured the white wine vinegar into the bottle with a funnel.

 

To the vinegar I added dried Sicilian oregano (Greek oregano will work just as well).  

 

Then I added fresh thyme. Just run your fingers along the stalks to remove the leaves. Add a pinch of sea salt and pepper to taste.

 

Add a nice extra virgin olive oil. Seal the bottle with the top and shake vigorously until the ingredients are blended together and have an opaque yellow look with bits of herbs floating through.

 

Pour on top of the salad and gently toss to cover all the radicchio, mushrooms and bread.

 

Can be eaten immediately or at room temperature. This is not the type of salad that you refrigerate as the bread will lose its texture.

 

I like this salad with grilled pork ribs or a nice steak.

I hope you enjoy and as always…

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 Ciao,

Monica

Autumn Panzanella with Oregano-Thyme Dressing
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Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: 4-6
 

Ingredients
  • 1 head of radicchio
  • 1 16 oz package of baby Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and free of dirt
  • 1 small rustic Italian loaf of bread
  • 10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried Sicilian oregano
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of pepper

Instructions
  1. With a brush or cloth clean mushrooms of all dirt and set aside.
  2. Heat panini grill or grill pan.
  3. Cut radicchio head in half and lightly brush with olive oil.
  4. Place on hot panini grill or pan for 4-6 minutes until slightly golden but still firm.
  5. Remove radicchio from heat and place on a cutting board.
  6. Cut radicchio into one inch sized pieces.
  7. Place in large bowl and set aside.
  8. Slice mushrooms to ¼ inch thick and place in bowl on top of radicchio.
  9. Slice bread loaf in half.
  10. Lightly brush with olive oil and place on panini grill or pan for 3-4 minutes until lightly golden.
  11. Place bread on cutting board and cut into one inch pieces.
  12. Place bread on top of mushrooms in bowl.
  13. For the dressing:
  14. In a bowl or jar add white wine vinegar.
  15. Add dried oregano, fresh thyme, pinch of sea salt, pinch of pepper and extra virgin olive oil.
  16. If in a bottle or jar, place lid on top and shake vigorously until dressing is opaque yellow color. If using a bowl, stir dressing with whisk until combined.
  17. Pour dressing on mushroom mixture and gently toss until all ingredients are combined.
  18. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

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