I love panzanella salad, but this recipe was my first "winter" version of it. Sara found this recipe from Tyler Florence and while the inspiration was from him, she tweaked it a little to make it more of her own. This really was a great dish to bring to our holiday dinner because you can prepare all the ingredients before hand, and toss the salad together right before serving.
2 bunches mixture red and gold baby beets (***Cooks note: If you can only find regular sized beets they need to be cut in half and roasted for about an hour as opposed to 30 minutes.**)
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 sprigs marjoram, thyme, and oregano (**Cooks note: Dried works fine too**)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices pancetta, sliced into small pieces
1 log goat cheese, refrigerated
1 loaf Italian bread, cut into crouton-sized pieces
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 c honey
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 orange, juiced
1 large handful arugula
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Take baby beets and cut them in half. Place on a long sheet of aluminum foil. Split shallots lengthwise, leaving them unpeeled, and add to foil. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, marjoram, thyme, and oregano leaves and season with salt and pepper. Fold foil into a packet and roast in oven until fork tender and nicely caramelized, about 30 minutes.
In saute pan, cook pancetta until crisp.
Toss the bread chunks with 1⁄4 cup oil until the bread is wet with the oil. Spread the bread on a baking sheet and bake until the bread begins to brown, about 10 minutes.
For the dressing:
In a large mixing bowl, add the honey, lemon juice, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, 4 tablespoons oil, salt, pepper, and stir together.
Add all the remaining ingredients except arugula and gently stir. Taste for seasoning. Remove beets and bread from oven, peel shallots, and add to bowl. Stir together and season with salt and pepper. Add pancetta and arugula. Top with goat cheese crumbles. Serve immediately!