Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cornbread Panzanella

Since snagging an eyeful of a gorgeous-looking cornbread salad on Beth Kirby's Instagram the idea of a winter panzanella has sat warming on the back burner of my mind. The occasion arose to make cornbread this past weekend when I cooked up a stew, and I saved a couple slices to be toasted up for a salad the following day. The Homesick Texan's cornbread is my go-to recipe, and it held up beautifully for the occasion. Since I usually smear leftover cornbread with a maple-butter mix, I brought some maple sweetness to the table by coating the cornbread cubes with maple & melted butter before toasting them, and swirled some maple into a quick vinaigrette for the salad as well. The final result was incredibly tasty and satisfying - it might even be good enough to warrant baking cornbread for the salad alone!

Cornbread Panzanella
Makes 2-3 servings

*1 scant tablespoon butter
*3-4 cups of cubed cornbread, made the day before
*Handfuls of spinach & arugula
*1/4 small red onion, sliced into thin half moons
*2 cups roasted Brussels sprouts (trimmed, halved, tossed with evoo, S&P at 375 for 30-40 minutes)
*1 scallion, green part sliced
*1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
*2 tablespoons pepitas
*2 tablespoons EVOO
*1 tablespoon maple syrup + 1/2 teaspoon
*1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
*1/2 teaspoon whole grain mustard

Melt the butter with the 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup and toss the cornbread with the mix. Toast in the oven for about 15 minutes, stirring once, until well crisped. Prepare the vinaigrette by shaking together the evoo, a tablespoon of syrup, the vinegar and mustard with pinches of salt & pepper in a small mason jar. Lay the greens in a serving bowl and combine the onion, freshly roasted sprouts, scallions, cheese, pepitas and cornbread to serve over top. A little cracked pepper and salt to finish, and serve with the dressing on the side so people may use it at their discretion.

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