Cornbread Panzanella Salad

Posted on: Wednesday, May 22, 2013

At this time last year, we debuted our take on Panzanella Salad, a traditional Tuscan summer dish that celebrates fresh garden produce. The classic Panzanella incorporates crusty, unsalted Tuscan bread with a simple vinaigrette and chopped vegetables. For a recent ladies luncheon, we decided to add a Southern flare to Panzanella by substituting in chive-studded cornbread, sweet peaches and a limey dressing. We washed down this vibrant, robust centerpiece with ice-cold glasses of Twin Tastes Lavender Lemonade. Seated in our breezy sun-room, surrounded by the budding yard, we daydreamed our summer plans between forkfuls.

Cornbread Panzanella Salad with Peaches

Chive Cornbread
1 1/4 c flour
3/4 c cornmeal
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/3 c granulated sugar
1 c milk
1/4 c canola oil
1 egg
2 T chopped chives
1 T canola oil for toasting

Lime Dijon Vinaigrette
1 t Dijon mustard
3 T fresh lime juice
1/2 c EVOO

4 c mixed greens
3 ripe peaches, thinly sliced
4 vine ripe tomatoes, cut into large chunks
1/2 c chopped basil leaves
salt and pepper throughout

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornbread ingredients until smooth. Pour the batter into a greased 9x9 baking dish and bake for 20-23 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

Lower oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the cornbread into 1-inch cubes until you have about 3 cups (save the extras for a quick addition to any soup or salad!). Toss the corn bread with the 1 T canola oil and arrange in a single layer on a sheet pan. Bake until the pieces are lightly toasted, about 5-7 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the Dijon mustard, lime, and salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the EVOO until incorporated.

In a large bowl, add the mixed greens, peaches, tomatoes, and basil. Add the toasted cornbread, Lime Dijon Vinaigrette, salt and pepper and toss. Serves 6.

To make this sweet and crispy salad a substantial dinner option, try adding grilled chicken or shrimp!


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