Southern Eye-talian Fare

Cornbread Panzanella-Duo Dishes

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
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Kosher salt

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.


38 thoughts on “Southern Eye-talian Fare

  1. Wow, that sounds fabulous. I love it when people use Southern elements in more traditional dishes. Would that be Southern fusion?

  2. You are making me hungry and I thought I had prepared myself for a visit to your site by eating a big bowl of pasta first – drat. This dish looks wonderful.

  3. What a clever way to use left over cornbread for this bread salad and a great one too. Will kiv this when I make cornbread!:) thanks for sharing this :))

  4. I am so loving this dish, love your twist on it. Missed you guys while I was on hiatus, so enjoy your recipes. Such a lovely writing flow you have also.

  5. Oh — I love this idea!
    Leftover corn bread is perfect for so many things.

    Panzanella is brilliant… And I can think of countless variations. How about a Southern/Tex-Mex Panzanella with tomatoes, jalapenos and cilantro?

  6. Wow. That looks amazing. I’ve never had a panzanella with cornbread. Love those yellow pear tomatoes!

    I’m sad summer is ending, but fall is my favorite season, so there’s a lot to look forward to too… like trying all your sweet potato recipes!

  7. I’ve never seen cornbread panzanella before. I love the idea. I love cornbread. It not just reminds me of panzanella, but also of polenta. This dish is actually pretty darned Italian. 😉

  8. As a southern Italian, I wholeheartedly approve of your southern panzanella. Cornbread is such a great addition. It’s one of my favorite breads!

    I am quite sad to say good-bye to summer as well! But at least with this you had it go out with a bang.

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