Thursday, August 8, 2013

Grilled Cornbread Panzanella - Caity

I love this time of year because the all the produce is so fresh and flavorful.  I went to the farmers market the other day and was annoyed I had only thought to bring one bag; I wanted everything! I also love this time of summer because of the sticky warm heat (my mom repeatedly tells me I can't possibly be her daughter because she hates this kind of weather). I like that you can go outside and grill something without having it dump rain on you; in Oregon that's a real treat!  

Cornbread and panzanella are two things I really like so I can't believe it had never occurred to me to combine the two. This recipe comes from the website "The Kitchn" and allows for optional add-ins; you can add in whatever is ripe at the market like corn, zucchini, micro greens, etc. If you find you are just as in love with panzanella as I am, make sure you try our other favorite Panzanella recipe. 

If you want to keep some for leftovers, separate the cornbread and salad and do not mix and dress until you're close to eating time. 

One year ago: Rice, Bean and Many Veggie Gratin
Two years ago: Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad, Panzanella

Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side dish

what you'll need:

1 pan of cornbread (I like Bob's Red Mill cornbread mix)
2 cups salad greens (I used arugula, baby spinach and sunflower sprouts)
1 big ripe heirloom tomato
1/2 large unwaxed cucumber
1/4 cup diced green onions
1/2 red or yellow bell pepper 
1 ear of fresh corn 
1/2 clove garlic crushed or finely minced
4 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1-1/2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

other optional add-ins:
red onion
nuts or seeds pepitas or sunflower seeds

Make the cornbread according to the instructions. Take it out of the oven a couple of minutes before it's done since it will continue to cook on the grill. 

While the cornbread is baking, make the salad dressing by combining the 1/2 clove crushed or minced garlic with the white wine vinegar and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Cut the tomato into wedges or cubes. 

Slice the cucumbers into half-moons, the bell pepper into 1/2 inch squares, and chop the green onions.

Cook the ear of corn as desired (I boiled mine in water for a couple minutes) and cut off the cob.  

On a platter or in a large bowl, mix together the salad greens, green onions, cucumbers, bell pepper, corn, tomato and any other add ins. Set aside. 

When the cornbread comes out of the oven, allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing into cubes. I made mine 1 inch wide x 1-2 inches tall. Make them big enough so that they won't fall through the grate of the grill. 

If you are using the grill, heat the grill to medium heat. Or if someone else in your apartment building is hogging the grill and ignoring your growling stomach, you can use a grill pan over medium heat. 

Place the cubes on the pan/grill and cook for a few minutes on each side. They should be nicely toasted on each side and a little crisped up so they are more the consistency of stale cornbread or croutons. 

Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before adding to the salad. 

When they've cooled, add them to the salad. Give the dressing a good shake to mix it up and dress the salad. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes so the cornbread can soak up the dressing. Enjoy! 

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