Inspiration for a blog post comes from many different places. Recently, I sat down with a box of folders filled with recipes from my past cooking classes and culinary events. While casually perusing my files, I quickly realized that this cornbread panzanella salad was one of the most popular dishes. With fresh avocado, toasty cornbread and summer tomatoes this salad will become a favorite. Enjoy the July 4th holiday!
- 4 cups cornbread- preferably a day old (store-bought or you can make your own if time permits), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive-oil (includes oil for toasting the bread cubes)
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 large ripe tomatoes (about a pound)
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced (optional)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 6-8 fresh basil leave, cut into strips
- 1 avocado, halved, pit removed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the cornbread cubes in a large mixing bowl and coat with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss evenly to coat the bread cubes. Spread the cubes in a single layer on a sheet tray and bake until lightly browned and toasted, about 10-15 minutes. Return the cornbread to the bowl and add the tomatoes and onions, if using. Whisk together the remaining olive oil and red wine vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Add the basil and the avocado cubes, tossing gently. Serve while the cornbread is still warm. Serves 4 to 6.
Source: Foster’s Market