Warm Autumn Panzanella with Cinnamon Cider Dressing

Warm Autumn Panzanella with Cinnamon Cider Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenWarm Autumn Panzanella with Cinnamon Cider Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenWarm Autumn Panzanella with Cinnamon Cider Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenWarm Autumn Panzanella with Cinnamon Cider Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenWarm Autumn Panzanella with Cinnamon Cider Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

Recipes seem to be coming more easily to me than words lately. Whenever my world feels a little out of balance I always turn to the kitchen. It’s grounding when it’s not necessary. Something like a big cozy stew or a tried + tested baked good usually does the trick. There’s peace in the slow stirring, the measuring, the smells and the colors. The season’s produce and the change in weather have me retreating to the silence of the kitchen even more these days, something about this fall weather just has me craving a little more space in the quiet.

I think it is because in my head I know Matt is leaving soon, but I haven’t quite allowed myself to settle in just yet. Scared that it might make it harder when he goes and knowing that I want to fall into comfortable routines of my own instead. We’ve moved around a lot together, and while the distance is never easy and the changes are often uprooting, we now know that no place or time is ever perfect. If you want something, you just have to jump in with both feet and go after it. I am so proud of him for taking the leap and for going after want he wants. Sometimes I selfishly regret being the one to nudge him into it, but I know in my heart it is the right choice for right now. I also know that time on our own will be good for me as well, just as it always is.

I so am often blown away by this space and the connections I’ve made here, and last week was exactly one of those moments. I was just feeling a little scattered and couldn’t find a darn thing worth scribbling down for a post, but all of your thoughtful comments just reminded me why I keep coming back here. We are never alone. So thank you for all being here with me.

Warm Autumn Panzanella with Cinnamon Cider Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenWarm Autumn Panzanella with Cinnamon Cider Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenWarm Autumn Panzanella with Cinnamon Cider Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenWarm Autumn Panzanella with Cinnamon Cider Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenWarm Autumn Panzanella with Cinnamon Cider Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenWarm Autumn Panzanella with Cinnamon Cider Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenWarm Autumn Panzanella with Cinnamon Cider Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen


Every season has a salad and this combo of roasted vegetables, dark leafy greens and warm spices are exactly what these cooler days are calling for. Use whatever bread you like, I am a sucker for sourdoughs but I imagine a seeded gluten free loaf would work here as well. And when that cinnamon cider dressing hits the warm roasted veggies, oh that smell!. Add extra kale to bulk this out into a side dish to feed a few more hungry bellies (or for your own second helping of fall comfort).

Vegan. Serves 2.


1 small delicata squash
6 stems tuscan kale (a.k.a lacinato or dinosaur kale)
1 medium red onion
1/3 cup hazelnuts
3 cloves garlic, skins on
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 thick slices of rustic whole grain bread (I used a seeded rye sourdough)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch sea salt


Preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 C

Slice the squash into thin rounds and scrap out the seeds and inner flesh with a spoon. Slice the onion into thin strips and place on a lined baking sheet along with the squash. Drizzle with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon), season with salt and sprinkle over rosemary. Toss together to evenly coat. Wrap garlic cloves in aluminum and place on the sheet with the vegetables. Roast in the oven until tender, flipping once – about 25 minutes. Remove and let cool.

While the vegetables are roasting, add hazelnuts to a dry skillet and toast until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool, then wrap in a clean tea towel and rub together with your hands. This helps to remove the outer skins for a perfect, toasty little nut. Give the hazelnuts a rough chop and set aside.

When the vegetables are almost done, cut the bread into rough chunks. Place the bread on a baking sheet and drizzle with a good coating of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt. Toss together so that the oil is well absorbed. If you have an oven with a double rack, place bread on the lower rack and bake until brown and a little crispy, about 10 minutes. If you only have one rack, place the bread in the oven once the vegetables are done and cooling down.

Remove the leaves from the rough stalks of the kale and chop into thin strips. You can choose two different ways to serve the kale. One, sprinkle with salt and a little olive oil and massage the kale between your finger tips. Continue to massage until the leaves are deep green and have softened. Or, place kale in a large pan with a drizzle of olive oil and sauté until deep green and just starting to wilt. Both options are great, I quite like the taste and texture of raw tuscan kale but if you don’t, choose the second option.

Remove garlic from foil and squeeze out the cloves. Roughly chop and then using the flat edge of a knife squish into a paste. Place garlic, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt into the a small blender and blend until smooth.

Toss vegetables, croutons and kale together. Add dressing and sprinkle with toasty hazelnuts. Serve warm.

Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!


  • Reply
    Allysia K
    November 3, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    I think this is the first panzella that has actually appealed to me! Must have something to do with the squash, and you can’t go wrong with dino kale.

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 4, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      Thank you, Allysia! I just delicata squash too. x

  • Reply
    Warm Vanilla Sugar
    November 3, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    I would love to have something like this for dinner! So healthy and colourful :)

  • Reply
    Coley @ ColeyCooks.com
    November 4, 2015 at 2:17 am

    I love the concept behind this salad and everything involved! Would be a lovely alternative to stuffing on Thanksgiving. Yum!

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 4, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      That’s a great idea, Coley! A hearty, healthy vegetarian dish is always nice to have on the thanksgiving table! Thank you, J x

  • Reply
    Kathryn @ The Scratch Artist
    November 4, 2015 at 3:36 am

    I am the same way. When I feel stressed or emotionally off balance I always find myself in the kitchen. Baking is my thing at those times. For some reason baking has always felt so natural to me. Somehow I just know what to do…cooking has taken more learning and reading, but I have grown to love it just as much. This salad looks great. I too have loved becoming part of this community and meeting wonderful people who share with each other so openly and heartedly.

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 4, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      Thank you so much Kathryn. I think a lot of us feel that way, whether it be baking or cooking, there is so much to be said about taking the time and being mindful. Hope you are getting lots of time in the kitchen lately, enjoy it x

  • Reply
    danielle is rooting the sun
    November 4, 2015 at 3:59 am

    jodi the concept and creativity of an autumn panzanella just bursts with the autumn colors the flavors pay homage to, really beautiful photography here (and always). often i resort to the kitchen to absorb emotional solar storms i may be experiencing – and kindly food reminds me of love and inspiration and then i’m uplifted. it’s an organic and beautiful process. i wish you well with enduring life’s crazy turns, but i agree so much that going for it is sometimes the best way. beautiful ingredients. xo

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 4, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      Thank you, Danielle! I was really pleased with the salad as well, I just love the colors and the flavors of it. Always start craving warmer, cozier foods this time of year, but it’s nice not to loose out on my love for big bowl salads. Food is love and inspiration, isn’t it? I just love that. x

  • Reply
    Grace @ Earthy Feast
    November 6, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    If you don’t have love and support, what have you got? Good luck to Matt on his amazing adventure! If you made this salad for me tho, I might think twice about leaving! ;) It looks so delicious! I think I have most of these ingredients on hand! Have a great weekend!

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 8, 2015 at 5:06 am

      You’re right, Grace! I am most definitely trying to fill up with belly with goodies before he takes off! And whats not to love about crispy bread in a salad? Love and support – so important. Thank you for saying hi – happy weekend to you too x

  • Reply
    Jessie Snyder | Faring Well
    November 6, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Oh Jodi do I feel you here. We’ve moved around a great deal too, but I’ll never forget the month and a half I was without Scott when he was on tour, right before we got married. It was one of the hardest things at first, but its true that with the right mindset you can actually grow and come out of the time apart as being even closer together. We are so all here for you, friend, whenever the quiet of the kitchen just isn’t doing it this winter – give me a shout ;) xo

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 9, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      Thank you, Jessie Snyder. That means the world to me I hope you know x

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    Sarah | Well and Full
    November 9, 2015 at 4:43 am

    Oh Jodi!! Sending you a huge huge hug. I’m so glad you can find solace in the kitchen; it’s something that I share in common with you. There’s something so meditative and peaceful about the act of cooking. Best of luck to Matt on his Swedish adventure; I know it will be hard for you but we’re all here to support you :) If you ever want to chat, my ears and heart are always open <3

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 10, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      Oh thank you, Sarah! This community of people amaze me everyday, so happy I’m getting to know you more and more :) x

  • Reply
    November 10, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    My heart goes out to you Jodi and I hope that the kitchen can really become a place of solace and comfort to you while Matt is away. Spending time apart is so hard – particularly when you’ve spent so much time adventuring together – but I’m sure you’ll both make the very best of the situation and emerge stronger from the whole experience.

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      November 12, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      Thank you, Kathryn. Your sweet really words mean a lot to me. At the moment, watching Matt get his things together and get ready for departure on monday, I think I’m more jealous than anything that he’s off on another journey! So looking forward to my visit! Wishing you nothing but love during your first months of married life x

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