Here's How Lidia Bastianich Turned This Classic Italian Summer Meal Into A Fall Dish

If you truly love a dish, why settle for having it just one season out of the whole year? Chef Lidia Bastianich takes up that exact challenge in her recent Instagram post. "I love taking classic Italian recipes and revising them to fit the season," she wrote in the caption. From the looks of the accompanying picture, we'd say mission accomplished! This particular Italian recipe appears to be for a hearty salad that would make for a perfect autumnal meal (and an Insta-worthy pic, of course!)

It turns out this dish is a riff on Panzanella. As Bastianich explains, "Panzanella is a traditional tomato and bread salad that I adore during the summer months." If you're not familiar with Panzanella, you can think of it as a "bread salad flavored with vegetables," according to Serious Eats culinary consultant J. Kenji López-Alt. López-Alt even goes so far as to say this Mediterranean dish is an "essential recipe of summer." If you're as big of a Panzanella fan as Bastianich is, you may appreciate her tip for adapting it to fit the cooler months of the year.

She adds butternut squash and Brussels sprouts to Panzanella

With chunks of rich, orange butternut squash and crispy, green Brussel sprouts, the Panzanella in Lidia Bastianich's Instagram post looks so unlike the typical, summery version of the dish with its usual bright, red tomatoes, like in Saveur's Summer Panzanella recipe. "When the crisp, autumn evenings arrive, I love this rendition with butternut squash and brussels sprouts," the chef wrote in her post. Indeed, the combined hues of the butternut squash and Brussels sprouts are a perfect fit for the season, but the chef has a couple more tasty ingredients up her sleeve to help transition the dish from summer to fall.

In her recipe for Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts Panzanella (via, Bastianich reveals the good news that she also uses dried cranberries and toasted walnuts to create this gorgeous salad. We love a salad with a little, extra crunch! The even better news is that you can continue eating this meal long after the snow starts to fall. As Bastianich puts it in her post, "It's a bright and healthy salad that can grace your table through the fall and winter months!" Packing some longevity, this might be a good recipe to add to your cooking repertoire. We can't help but agree with one Instagrammer who responded, "You had me at SALAD!! Looks delicious!!"