recipes/ salads + greens/ season/ winter

Winter Panzanella w/ Cider Flax Vinaigrette

Winter Panzanella | Well and Full | #vegan #winter #panzanella

This may be a winter panzanella, but maybe I should have named it “spring” because it’s currently almost 60 degrees F here in Connecticut. It feels like a nice spring day!

But enough about the weather. I want to take the opportunity to sincerely thank all of you for your thoughtful and insightful comments on my last post. Mental illness affects so many people, whether they suffer from it themselves or are supporting a loved one with a health issue. I really wish I had spoken about about my depression sooner, because it really resonated with a lot of people. But there’s no time like the present, and I will continue to use this space as a platform for advocating mental health awareness and fighting stigma. And I want to let all of my readers know that your thoughts and comments about mental health are always welcome here. <3

So, about this salad! I love panzanella because, well, bread. (#Carbs4Life) If you’ve never made your own croutons at home, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how easy it is. Just toss cut-up bread with olive oil and spices, and toast in the pan. And voila, you’ll have the most delicious croutons ever! In this salad, they’re paired with both roasted and raw veggies, for a nice contrast of flavors and textures. I used chioggia (candy cane) beets for their beautiful pattern, but regular beets would work just fine too. Also, feel free to roast them if you don’t like the taste of raw beets. Actually, feel free to add in whatever veggies you like to this salad – it’s super customizable and versatile. Topped with a cider flax vinaigrette, it’ll all taste delicious! I hope you love it!

Winter Panzanella | Well and Full | #vegan #winter #panzanellaWinter Panzanella | Well and Full | #vegan #winter #panzanellaWinter Panzanella | Well and Full | #vegan #winter #panzanellaWinter Panzanella | Well and Full | #vegan #winter #panzanella

Winter Panzanella | Well and Full | #vegan #winter #panzanella

Winter Panzanella w/ Cider Flax Vinaigrette

This winter panzanella is a delicious medley of flavors and textures, with roasted root vegetables, chioggia beets, topped with a cider flax vinaigrette.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 2 as a main, 3-4 as a side


The Roasted Veggies

  • 1 Sweet Potato peeled and cut into small slices
  • 8-10 Baby Purple Potatoes cut into small slices
  • 1/2 White Onion cut into thin slices
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • A Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The Raw Veggies

  • 1 Chioggia Beet Candy Cane, sliced thin on a mandoline
  • A Few Handfuls of Kale
  • Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
  • A Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The Croutons

  • 2-3 Slices Ezekiel or Whole Grain Bread
  • A Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • A Sprinkle of Salt + Black Pepper

The Cider Flax Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 Cup Flaxseed Oil
  • 2 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt


  • Any nuts or seeds that you like I used pecans


The Roasted Veggies

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Start by prepping your veggies - wash everything, peel the sweet potato and onion. Cut everything into small slices as directed. (If the slices are too big, they may not cook through.)
  • In a bowl, toss the veggies with a drizzle of olive oil and the salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.
  • On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, bake veggies for 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway.

The Raw Veggies

  • While the roasted veggies are roasting, prepare the raw veg. Wash and peel beets (if you can't find chioggia beets, any other kind will do), then slice thinly on a mandoline. Set aside.
  • Take a few big handfuls of kale, and drizzle with fresh squeezed lemon juice and a bit of olive oil. Using your hands, "massage" olive oil and lemon into the kale. This helps break down the kale and makes it much easier to digest. When done, set aside.

The Croutons

  • Take your slices of bread and cut into crouton shapes (see photos for reference). In a bowl, toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, until everything is evenly coated.
  • Then, bring a saute pan to medium-high heat. Add the olive oil-covered croutons and saute for a few minutes, stirring often, until brown and toasty. When done, remove from heat and set aside.

The Vinaigrette.

  • Combine all vinaigrette ingredients into a blender, and blend on high until everything is smooth.

Putting It All Together

  • To assemble your salad, start with a layer of the massaged kale in a large bowl. Then, layer in raw sliced beets, roasted veggies, and croutons. Top it all off with pecans, or any nut and seed that you like. Drizzle everything with the cider flax vinaigrette and mix well.
  • Enjoy!


If you don't have any flaxseed oil on hand, feel free to sub extra virgin olive oil.

Winter Panzanella | Well and Full | #vegan #winter #panzanellaWinter Panzanella | Well and Full | #vegan #winter #panzanella

Quote of the Day:

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.

– Joseph Campbell


  • Reply
    Agness of Run Agness Run
    January 12, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    The cold weather requires recipes like this! It will provide the necessary energy levels and the feeling of fullness.

    • Reply
      January 12, 2017 at 8:27 pm

      I hope you like it, Agness!! :)

  • Reply
    January 13, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Oh my gosh, Sarah! This salad contains so many of my favorite foods. I’m in love

    I’m always a fan of making your own salad dressings — always better than store-bought. I’m a flax meal fiend, but have never sampled flax oil. Gotta track some down.

    • Reply
      January 14, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      Thanks Annie!! And you’ve got to try flax oil – it’s so flavorful and delicious!! :D

  • Reply
    January 13, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    It was so brave of you to open up about your depression. Thank you so much for sharing and trying to bring more awareness.
    And this winter panzanella is simply stunning!

    • Reply
      January 14, 2017 at 12:42 pm

      Thank you so much for your support, Kelly <3 <3

  • Reply
    Nina Olsson - Nourish Atelier
    January 14, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    I’m with you humble bread crumbs will take your salads to a super natural level. This salad is so vibrant and beautiful, Sarah!

    • Reply
      January 14, 2017 at 7:53 pm

      Thanks Nina!! :D

  • Reply
    January 15, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    The colours! So incredibly beautiful!

    • Reply
      January 15, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      Thank you Louisa! :)

  • Reply
    January 15, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Oh wow, what a great combination of flavours and ingredients you have here! Some of my fave :)

    • Reply
      January 16, 2017 at 8:21 am

      Thanks Laura!! :D

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
    January 16, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Those beets are like candy for my eyes! So beautiful.

    I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never made panzanella before. That seriously need to change. This looks so good and I love the sound of that flax vinaigrette!

    • Reply
      January 17, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      Panzanella is the best because it has bread in it!! You’ve gotta try it!! :D

  • Reply
    Jess @Nourished by Nutrition
    January 16, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    My current lunch situation is a bowl similar to this. Always roasted veggies along side some raw with hearty greens. But THIS bowl! The colors are out of this world. I wish I could get my hands on candy cane beets more often because this looks fantastic!

    • Reply
      January 17, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      You should check Whole Foods, they usually have chioggia beets!! :D And your lunch bowl sounds delish!

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