When life gives you tomatoes and cornbread, make panzanella. Panzanella, you say? Yes, panzanella. It’s not just for the Italians. We love to try Southernized versions of dishes, and we’ve seen several versions of cornbread based panzanellas out there. It was time to give it a try. This is the summer bread salad of all summer bread salads, especially if you have a pint of cherry tomatoes that are just waiting to be used for something good. If you’re asking why cornbread, we’re sure you’ll have no doubts once you take a bite. The Southerner in us says thanks to whoever came up with the idea.
We’re well into September, but it’s still summer time in our hearts. Last weekend, there was an end of summer bbq and pool party. It’s never too September for a pool party, you know. We threw together this salad for the occasion. Sweet, bright, tangy and crunchy, this was one of the best ways to bide farewell to summer days.
Cornbread Panzanella – Serves 4 to 6
3 cups leftover cornbread, cubed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium red onion, diced
1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded and diced
10-15 fresh basil leaves, sliced
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1. Melt butter in an oven safe pan or heavy skillet and add cornbread. Toss in butter and cook over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes. Toast in a preheated oven at 300 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until dry and hard like croutons. Remove from oven and set aside until cool.
2. Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, zest and maple syrup. Salt to taste.
3. In a large bowl, toss cornbread with tomatoes, onion, cucumber and basil. Drizzle with 1/3 to 1/2 of the dressing and serve the rest on the side.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.